Down the TBR hole #30

it’s been absolutely ages since I last did one of these. But here I am continuing with it. as a refreshes of how this works, I go to my Goodreads TBR shelf and randomise it and pick out the first 10 books that I’m no longer interested in reading. I did originally go through every single book and decided whether or not I wanted to read it, but that was just taking too long.

Count after previous post: 265

Current count: 257 (it’s amazingly actually gone down!)

Count after this post: 247

Previous post

Winter Dark by Alex Callister

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I just have no desire whatsoever to read this. I don’t even know why it’s on my TBR.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden


This is one of those classics that I say “Oh, one day I’ll read it”. But yeah, I will most likely never read it and I don’t need it cluttering my TBR shelf. 

Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe


Again, I just have no interest in this. It’s been on my shelf since probably like 2015. It ain’t happening folks. 

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry


I enjoyed The Giver when I read it, but that was in like 2016 or something so… yeah I’m probably never reading this.  

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

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I’d watch a movie of this. But I don’t think I’m interested enough to read the book. 

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Again, I’d probably watch it as a film. But honestly it sounds like something that’ll just negatively impact my mental health. So… no. 

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Paranormal thrillers are not really my thing and this has been on my TBR for 5 years so… it’s not happening. 

Muse of Nightmare by Laini Taylor

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I didn’t love Starnge the Dreamer. it was okay, but eh… I don’t see myself continuing with this. 

Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

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I tried listening to this on audio and the narration sucked so I stopped and then I heard everyone say that the book in general sucks and yeah, I just lost interest. 

Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally


I’ve seen the film several times. It’s a great story, but I already know it. 

January 2021 Wrap Up

Generally speaking, January is always a strong reading month for me. I don’t know what it is about the new year that just makes me read twice as much as I normally do. As such, I read 13 books in January and I actually enjoyed all of them. So this will be a long post. Let’s get into it.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden


This was a re-read for me. I have read the whole series and it’s one of my favourite series. And just such a solid start to the year. Cause I think everyone can agree we just need a better 2021. This also got me in the mood for some angsty  enemies to lovers fantasy romance. Which is totally reflected in the following books in this wrap up. I of course, gave this 5/5 stars. 

The Invisible Library by Genevive Cogman


This book was a lot of fun. I picked it up almost at random. One of the books in the series was on my recommended listens on Audible. So I listened to a preview and the narration was absolutely awful. But I read one of the reviews that highly recommended just reading the physical book. so I bought it on a whim and I ended up really enjoying it. It had dragons, it had fae, it had a magical library, it had this cool steampunk vibe. It gave me some The Infernal Devices vibes. It was just a lot of fun and there was also a maybe potential future slow burn, kinda angsty romance, which was just fuel on the fire kindled by The Bear and the Nightingale. Thoroughly enjoyed, I’ve already bought the next few books in the series, so looking forward to continuing with it soon. 4/5 stars.

The Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb


Continuing on with the Elderlings. This is the final book in the third Elderlings series. I read 6 Elderling books last year. I’m really loving them on audio. I think I will take a little bit of a break for now, but I do want to continue with the next series later this year. They just get better and better as more and more of the world and the overarching story is revealed. The Fool is the best character ever. I loved seeing the interplay between the different series. It’s just such masterful writing even though the Fitz books aren’t my favourites. I’m not a huge fan of Fitz as a character. I find him a bit… just annoying. But still this series is much better than his first one and I still really loved it. 4/5 stars. 

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson


I read A Sorcery of Thorns a couple of years ago and was pleasantly surprised by it. So I decided to pick this up when I was struck by my angsty fantasy romance craving and this hit the spot so well for me. It does have some pacing issues and it’s a bit insta lovey, but I still loved it. I loved the atmosphere, I loved the take on the fae and their inability to create anything. I’m also a sucker for the fae Courts and their magic being tied to their courts. so, yeah this was a lot of fun, I think I read it in two sittings. 3.5/5 stars

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco


I have already reviewed this one so I won’t talk too much about it for the sake of shortening this post, but I adored it. It’s by far my favourite (non re-read) of the year so far and I definitely recommend listening to the audiobook. I cannot wait for the next one. 4.5/5 stars

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman


So, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a thing for Swedish humour authors. I love Jonas Jonasson’s books and now Fredrik Backman, This book was hilarious and heartwarming and just beautiful. I put if off for so long because honestly if you read the synopsis, it sounds boring as hell. I mean, I had heard great things about it, but even so I was never strongly tempted. But I’m so glad I gave it a try. I’m definitely going to be reading more of Backman’s books. 4.5/5 stars. 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas


This was another re-read for me. I still loved it. I will say though, i definitely don’t love the writing. I don’t think I ever loved the writing, I just didn’t have any objections to it. But now I do. But I still just love the story and the characters and the world though so I still loved the book. But if I had read it for the first time now, I probably would have given it 4 stars because of the writing. However, since I tend not to change my rating for re-reads unless I have a vastly different opinion on them, it still got 5/5 stars.

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

alloy of law

Finally continued with the Mistborn books. I liked this a lot. I wouldn’t expect to not like any Sanderson books. But it’s probably my least favourite Sanderson book I’ve read so far. I think the main reason is that it’s so short. It’s not even 400 pages when I’m used to 1000 page monsters from him. And while it’s in an already established world so it doesn’t need as much world building, I still just wanted more and felt like this was just not on the same level as what I’m used to. If any other author had written this book, it would probably have been 4 stars at least. But on this occasion, Sanderson is just suffering from success, really (and my really high expectations) and only earned 3.5/5 stars.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier


This is probably my least favourite book that I read so far this year. I still enjoyed it, but it just lacked something. I think mainly, the main character just lacked agency and was just kind of a spectator to her own life. And that kind of annoyed me cause she had such potential to be a strong, badass character. I’m kind of happy with where I left the story, so I’m not sure if I will continue with this series. 3/5 stars

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger


I was a little bit disappointed by this book. I had heard amazing things about it and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it. the writing was a bit tacky and it had some romance elements that I didn’t like. It’s a middle grade book, so I don’t want crushes and romance, I want magic and adventure and friendship. So it was so jarring whenever the romance elements showed up. It was like it just kept switching between middle grade and YA and I didn’t like it. But I did enjoy the adventure and the world and I am interested in continuing with the series, but I was just a little disappointed. 3.5/5 stars

Skulduggery Pleasant 10-12 by Derek Landy

I read the majority of the Skulduggery books last year and I’m just about caught up with it. I have one book left which I’m currently reading. This is just such a fun series and it did such a good job at following Valkyrie since she was a child and changing the tone of that as she grew. I love this series and I’m excited for anything else coming in the series. I’m not sure how many books are planned in the series, I know there is one coming out this year, but not sure beyond that. Either way, this is a solid 4 star series for me. 

And that is it for January. Hopefully, I continue as well as I did this month for the whole year. 

I did a non-Goodreads reading challenge?

I’ve mostly forgotten about this and I didn’t really choose books to read that would specifically complete these prompts, but oh well. Let’s see how I did. The ones in bold are ones I’ve completed followed by the book that fits them. Italics are incomplete followed by an explanation. This is going to be a long post. To just quickly give you the stats, I completed 45 out of 52 prompts plus all 3 bonus challenges that I set myself. So I’m pretty pleased.

  1. A book you bought for the cover – The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  2. A book by an author you’ve met – I’ve only ever met Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas and I haven’t read a book by either of them because I cant handle their books right now 😦
  3. A book you’re embarrassed you haven’t read yet – The Dark Vault by V.E. Schwab
  4. A book that is under 220 pages – Saga vol. 1 by Bryan K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  5. A book that came out the year you were born Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
  6. A book whose title uses alliteration – To Best the Boys by Mary Weber
  7. A book in your best friend’s favorite genre – Thriller: Sadie by Courtney Summers
  8. A book from an independent publisher – honestly, I’m too lazy to properly look into this. I may or may not have read such a book, but meh.
  9. A book written by a PoC – The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
  10. A book featuring a fictional language – A Storm of Swords by G. R. R. Martin
  11. A novel that includes a recipe – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince has lots of potion recipes. I’m counting it.
  12. A sequel – The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin
  13. A book about going on a quest – The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
  14. A book set in a city you’ve visited – Harry potter and the Order of the Phoenix. A good enough chunk of it happens in London and I’m counting it because most of the books I own are set in nonexistent cities so…
  15. A book with a dust jacket – Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
  16. A book by two or more authors – Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  17. Four word title – A Feast for Crows by G. R. R. Martin
  18. A book that’s been out for less than a month – Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence. I was on this as soon as it came out
  19. A book with a name in the title – Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  20. A book from a genre you want to read more of – Graphic novels: Monstress Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu
  21. Male protagonist – Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
  22. A book with an asexual character – Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
  23. A book you were given as a gift – I almost managed this, but then I didn’t finish the book. I haven’t officially DNFed it because I like it and want to finish it, but I’m waiting for the right mood.
  24. A space opera – Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
  25. An award-winning graphic novel – Saga Vol 2 by Bryan K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  26. A book you’ve been putting off – The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  27. A book you meant to read in 2018 – The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
  28. A book featuring a memorable cat – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. Doesn’t get much more memorable than Aslan
  29. A book set in South America – Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel. Briefly. But I don’t own that many books that happen on Earth, let alone South America.
  30. A book with a cover you kind of hate (but a story you love) – The Martian by Andy Weir. I have the movie tie-in edition and I just hate it.
  31. A book by an author you’ve never heard of before – Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
  32. A book of short stories – The only book of short stories I own, I don’t actually really want to read so…
  33. A debut novelThe Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
  34. A book you’ve been waiting for forever – I did start reading Darkdawn, but unfortunately did not finish it. Again, waiting for the mood to strike. Being a mood reader kind of sucks sometimes. 
  35. A book about intersectional feminism – Honestly, idk why I left this one in here, I don’t really read non-fiction. I suppose it could be a fiction book that has intersectional feminism as a theme, but I don’t think I’ve read any that fit this year. 
  36. A book with a place in the title – A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
  37. A book bought at your local bookstore – Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
  38. A book by an author you’re thankful for – The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
  39. A book with gorgeous descriptions – The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
  40. A book signed by the author – Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
  41. A book set in Africa – City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty. I know this barely qualifies because only the beginning takes place in Egypt. But I’m counting it because I don’t think I have any books that take place in Africa on my owned TBR.
  42. A book about mental health – Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter
  43. A non-fiction book – What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
  44. A retelling – Alice by Christina Henry
  45. A book about incarceration – Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
  46. A book recommended by an author – The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden was blurbed by Robin Hobb. I count that as recommendation 😀
  47. A book with a person of colour on the cover – Saga Vol 3 by Bryan K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  48. A book by an author who uses a pen name – Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  49. A book whose title includes a verb – One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence. Kill is a verb. 😀
  50. A book that you owned since before the start of the year – Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  51. A book being adapted in 2019
  52. A re-read – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

BONUS: Read a book over 1000 pages – The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

BONUS: Finish a series you started this year – I finished THREE: The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden; Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman and The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (this one is still ongoing, but I read all the published ones this year, so it counts)

BONUS: Read a contemporary – Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All by Jonas Jonasson

Overall, not bad I think. Considering I didn’t really pick books specifically to fit this challenge.

Books I’m Currently Reading #2

A while back, I made a post about all the books I’d started reading and not yet finished for various reasons. This is a follow up to that because unfortunately, that list has only grown. I think I’ve only completed three of the books that were on that list, have given up on another one and have added a few. For that reason, I will exclude the sciency books that are on this list because those were always going to take me a long time to finish and this list is long enough as it is.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas


This one I haven’t touched at all since my first post. I am really nervous that I will not enjoy it and I’ve been avoiding it. I am still on page 93 of it.


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catheynne M. Valente


This is still here as well, but I have made progress on it. I am more than halfway through it and I enjoyed it this far, so hopefully I’ll finish it soon. I am now on page 184.

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey


Another one that’s still here months later. I did make a little progress on it. Every time I pick it up, I love it so much. I find it so enriching and empowering, but I just don’t pick it up often enough. I am on page 139.

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch


This one’s still here as well. I have made some progress on it though. I just need to sit down and read the last couple hundred pages. But this is another one that I just haven’t picked up because I was distracted with other books. I am now on page 433.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson


This is another book that I have made almost no progress on. I think I read maybe one chapter since the last post. It kind of intimidates me cause it’s huge and I’m afraid I’ll get sucked into it and not sleep until I finish it. But I do have the week off, so maybe I should just get on with it. I’m on page 35.

The Bat by Jo Nesbo

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I haven’t even touched this book in ages. I keep forgetting about it. I’m still on page 157.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black


I picked this up after reading The Cruel Prince. I was really craving some more fae, so I bought this one, but it wasn’t what I was expecting, so I only read a few chapters. I do intend to finish it though. I’m on page 38 of it.

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen


I’ve been re-reading this series. I finished the first book and started this one, but haven’t picked it up in a while. I’m currently on page 69 of it.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin


This is the book that I’m most actively reading at the moment. I’ve been on an ASoIaF kick since watching the show. I am now on page 459.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe


I know I said I would exclude sciency books, but this is a popular science book and not so much an educational book, so it doesn’t need to be studied, just enjoyed. I am currently on page 43 of this.

Can You Solve My Problems by Alex Bellos


I’ve been making my way through this, solving all the puzzles (so much fun!). I’m currently on page 29 of it.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Polos


This is a short story collection that I’ve been reading. I haven’t been reading them sequentially, so I can’t say what page I am on, but I’ve read 12 of the 28 stories in it.

The Broken Earth by N. K. Jemisin – Series Review

I don’t often do series reviews because I don’t often marathon series these days. So I’m going to have to try and figure out a format for this. Also, check out my spoilery discussion if you’d like to hear more in depth thoughts.

Books in the series: The Fifth Season (4/5 stars); The Obelisk Gate (5/5 stars); The Stone Sky (5/5 stars)

Overall series rating: 4.75/5 stars

Genre: Adult, fantasy, sci-fi

Author: N. K. Jemisin


Three terrible things happen in a single day.

Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world’s sole continent, a great red rift has been been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes — those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon — are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back.

She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

Book Depository | Goodreads

The series’ first book was by far it’s weakest link. It was a bit confusing as you do get thrown in at the deep end. Which is something that I enjoy, but this world is so complex that it was difficult to follow at times which takes away from the story. I suspect that a second reading of the series would reveal a lot of things that I completely missed the first time around due to not understanding how things work. Beyond that, I have only one other complaint about the story overall, and that’s quite subjective. I will talk about it more in my spoilery discussion, which I will have up soon, but there is a polyamorous relationship in the first book that I just didn’t really enjoy. Which means that there was a good 100 pages of the book that I just didn’t enjoy. Which in all honesty is probably why it got 4 stars.

The writing style I absolutely loved. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a second person narrative before. At least not with this kind of second person narrative and it’s a bit strange at first, and I did find it a bit off putting in the first book, but by the end of the series, I came to love it. I think it adds so much as you learn more about the the narrator and the person that it’s narrated to. It’s just beautiful and I loved it.

Characters. I can’t think of a character that I didn’t like. Even if I didn’t necessarily like them as people, I liked them as characters. They’re all complex and deeply flawed and so well written. Every single character that is even mildly significant has at least a little bit of development. Even if the story isn’t at all focused on them. It just makes them feel as actual people with their own stories which we may not know, but they exist. As opposed to them just being fillers. And I cared about them so much. I felt feelings when bad things were happening to them (which was all the time) and also when good things were happening to them (almost never).

The series is incredibly diverse in every and any way possible, which is something that earns books cookie points with most people. And I’m not saying that that isn’t something that I like and want to see in books and media, but I am so tired of books getting praise for no other reason than them being diverse. Just because I feel like we should be past that infancy of “omg there’s a PoC, what a statement! Let’s celebrate.” And I know that diversity in media is still young, but I feel like it’s maybe a toddler by now. And it annoys me when I read a book and I feel like the author is constantly trying to say “Look how diverse my book is! Do you see how diverse my book is? But really… diverse… this book is it…” Which is why I love seeing diversity without attention being drawn to it. Which this series does so well. Most characters here are PoC and most of them are women and of course it’s mentioned. But not in a “look at me I’m diverse” kind of way.

The story is so intricate and unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s a strange mix between fantasy and sci-fi. Actually, I think the best way to describe it would be as a sci-fi that’s set in a fantasy world. But it also has elements that are just fantasy. It’s hard to describe, but it’s great. It just draws you in and completely immerses you in this world that is ending and at times, I was so into it that i actually felt like I was breathing ash and fighting for my life. The way the plot is built is masterful. I honestly had no idea where the story was going even from page to page, let alone overall. It was awesome.

I cannot recommend this series enough for any SFF lover. It’s just beautiful and masterfully told and just read it. You’ll love it.

As an additional note, I listened to parts of the series on audiobook and the audiobook for this is also very good. I really liked the narrator and I even felt like it was easier to follow on audiobook because of the second person narration. So do check that out as well.

Top 10 Most Disappointing Books I’ve read in 2017

I actually had a pretty good reading year this year. I didn’t read many books that I really didn’t like, so a lot of the books on this list I actually enjoyed and rated quite highly, but they disappointed me because I was just expecting to enjoy them more than I did. This list is in the order in which I read the books.

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

fear the drowning deep

I gave this one 2.5/5 stars. It wasn’t bad, it was just really meh for me. I wanted more from it. I didn’t care much about the characters and the story was pretty predictable. I did really enjoy the setting, I thought that was well done. I have a full review of it if you’re interested.

Pale Highway by Nicholas Conley

pale highway

This was a very weird book. I’m not even sure how to summarise my thoughts on it. It’s just… weird. I gave it 2/5 stars. I do have a review of it, where I try to explain how weird this book is without spoiling it, so you can check that out.

A Toaster on Mars by Darell Pitt

toaster on mars

This was a fun book to read. I enjoyed it. But it’s just so forgettable. I don’t remember much about it beyond a robot dog pooping silicone poop. That was the most hilarious thing to me in the whole book and it’s what stuck with me. I gave it 3/5 stars and I have a review of this one as well.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber


We all know how I feel about this book. If you don’t, I have both a spoiler free review and a spoiler-filled rant telling you how much and why I hated this book. It was just tacky and tropey and boring and stupid. I gave it 1/5 stars.

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

stealing snow

The other major disappointment of the year. This was even worse than Caraval. It was so bad, it took me 6 months to finish and the only reason I finished it was so I could rant about it. Which I did. I also have a spoiler free review of it. I gave it 1/5 stars and if I could give it less, I would.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas


I did really like this book. I think I gave it 4/5 stars. However, I had huge expectations from it and it really didn’t deliver, which is why it was a disappointing read. I had some issues with some of the things that happened and with the pacing and with some other things as well. I talk about those in more detail in my spoiler free review and in my discussion posts if you’d like to know.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

shadow and bone

Another one that was really enjoyable, but after reading Six of Crows, it just really couldn’t live up to it. I think I also gave this one 4/5 stars. I have a spoiler free review of it.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

the wrath and the dawn

And yet another one that I did enjoy, but nowhere near as much as I thought I would, which landed it on this list. I really didn’t read that many books that I hated this year, what can I say. I think I’m becoming pretty good at picking books I’m going to enjoy. I believe I gave this one 3.5/5 stars. I also have a review of it.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

good and evil

This is the one I’m the most sad for not enjoying as much as I might have, because I think the main reason this disappointed me had nothing to do with the book and everything to do with when I read it. I ended up giving it 4/5 stars, even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as a 4 star book. But I just knew that had I read it at a different time, it might even have been a 5 star read. It was fun, it was magical, it was well written… Hopefully I’ll time reading the subsequent books better and enjoy them more. Full review.

Duplicity by Sibel Hodge

Closing off with a books that really was bad. This book was one big cliche wrapped with a bow. I was so annoyed with it by the end of the book. The only reason I even completed it was because I audiobooked it, so I just listened to it while doing chores. I gave it 1.5/5 stars because of the epilogue which was slightly less predictable and boring than the rest of the book.

Sabriel by Garth Nix – Spoiler Free Book Review

2568817Rating: 4/5 stars

First published: 1995

Genre: YA fantasy

Author: Garth Nix

Synopsis: Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Abhorson, is missing, and Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny

Book Depository | Goodreads

This was a pretty unique book. It was published quite a while ago (it’s older than I am!), when YA wasn’t quite the big thing that it is now. I really enjoyed this book, for the most part. The story was really cool, it has to do with necromancers and traveling between life and death. I got an Underworld/ Dante’s Inferno vibe from it, which was really cool and not something that’s explored that often in YA.

I really enjoyed the magic system. It’s very rigorous and strict. Usually, you see magic as a sort of free, raw power that just manifests itself. But here, it’s very strict. It’s strictly tied to music, which I thought was really cool, and also to these symbols and runes and to magical objects as well. I found that really interesting to read about and I really look forward to exploring more of it.

I did enjoy the characters. I didn’t connect to them as much as I would have liked, but they were good characters. I love Mogget. Mogget is my favourite, he’s the only one that I actually connected with.

The world was pretty interesting. There’s this wall that separates the magical Old Kingdom from a version of the real world. I don’t think it takes place in our world, per se, but one side of the wall is like our world. They have cars and electricity and the same sort of societal structure that we do. I loved Abhorsen’s house in the Old Kingdom and I really hope we get to see more of it in future books. I also loved Death, which reminds me of the Underworld in Greek Mythology, but also of hell as depicted in Dante’s Inferno, with the nine circles. It’s really cool and interesting and I really enjoyed that aspect.

The one thing I didn’t really like was the writing. It’s not bad writing, it’s just not to my taste. I had a hard time connecting to it. It didn’t involve me enough in the story, or with the characters and as a result, I cared a lot less about them than I would have otherwise. Still I will be continuing with the series.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

17370618Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: YA, paranormal, fantasy

First published: 2013

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

***SPOILER ALERT*** Second book in the series. There may be spoilers for the first book from here on. Review of the first book here

Synopsis: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Book Depository | Goodreads

I’m so glad I decided to continue with this series. I mean, I enjoyed The Raven Boys. But it was so confusing and vague and… it didn’t really blow my mind. I liked the characters and I thought the mythology was cool, but I just found it confusing and it was really not what I expected. But going into the second one, I knew what to expect. I knew that it was going to be vague and confusing and almost nonsensical at times and that allowed me to integrate the peculiarity as part of the story instead of trying to logic it and somehow, that made it better.

There was a lot of character development going on in this one. I think my main problem with the first book was that it was too complex and not well explained enough. But a lot of the loose threads in the first one were tugged on, if not tied up, so it clarified a lot of the confusion and there weren’t that many completely new elements added. Rather, the old elements were expanded on. And that was really satisfying. Which is an odd word to use, but that’s the best way I can describe it.

The writing, in my opinion, was so much better than in the first book. I really enjoyed the writing, whereas I don’t remember enjoying it as much in the first book. It’s amazing how much Maggie has grown as an author between the two. And actually, I recently read about two thirds of Shiver and that book is horrible. I don’t know whether it’s her debut, but there was almost nothing I enjoyed about that book. The writing, was bad, the story was bad, the characters were bad… just, no. And it’s fantastic to see how much she has developed as a writer. I love seeing these things, it’s great to watch an author grow and develop their skill.

Going back to the characters. I really love all the characters. They’re all quirky and unique and so themselves and I love to see that in books. Which once again shows how much Maggie’s skill has grown, because in Shiver, I could not distinguish the characters from one another. I couldn’t even distinguish the POV characters. Sometimes, I would forget whose POV I was reading. So, yeah I loved the characters. I loved them in the first book as well, but even more in this one. Ronan… I love Ronan. And we got to learn so much about him in this book and it was awesome. Some of the plot-twists, particularly regarding Ronan really took me by surprise. I really did not see them coming.

We also see Gansey and blue growing together, which wasn’t a surprise, given the first book. But it promises a lot of angst in the following books and I’m a sucker for some good angst. We also get to meet a new character, whom I really enjoyed. I didn’t think that I would enjoy him quite as much, but I really did.

I would say that this book was mainly focused on character development and sort of just clarifying the first book. It’s not that nothing happened in it, it’s just that most of the things that happened were less significant to moving the story forward than they were to character development. It was like a sort of preparation of the characters for  what’s to come. And I find that’s often the case with second books in series. And that can either make the second book the worst in the series, or really good (maybe even the best), depending on how it’s done. And I think this one has been done very well. I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than the first book.

I hear the Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the best book in the series, so I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully, I will get to it soon. I’m really excited for it now and I wish I had bought it so I could read it straight away. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you read The Raven Boys and were kind of on the fence about whether you want to continue with the series. Just give this one a try before making your mind up.

Even MORE Series I will probably not finish (Part 4)

Well, I was bound to have another one of these sooner or later. You can check out parts one, two and three if you like.

1. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


I didn’t particularly like this book. It was too wishy-washy and insta-lovey for me. It had a pretty cool world concept, but it just wasn’t enough  to hold my interest. You can read my full review of it here if you are interested, but yeah… not likely to ever pick up the other ones.

Goodreads | Book Depository

2. Legend by Marie Lu


It’s not that I didn’t like this. I enjoyed it. It’s just that my focus has sort of shifted away from dystopian in the past year and I really don’t read dystopia anymore unless it’s some mindblowingly amazing one. And Legend was good, but it wasn’t by any means mindblowing. So I just don’t think I will ever get around to reading the other two books. I’m still holding out for The Young Elites though. It was so much better than Legend and it’s a fantasy dystopia and I don’t know why I haven’t read the rest of it yet, but I hope it won’t end up on my next “will not finish” post, because it would be a shame.

Goodreads | Book Depository

3. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige


UGH! I do not know how to tell you how much I hated this book. I actually haven’t even finished it because it’s so boring and annoying and Snow is so whiny and insufferable and stupid. *deep breath* Yeah, no. Not going to happen.

Goodreads | Book Depository

4. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

5th wave

I really enjoyed this book. But I read it quite a while ago and I haven’t picked up the other ones and I just don’t really see myself doing that anytime soon. I still might get around to reading it eventually. Though realistically, I probably won’t because you know… so many books, so little time. It’s like Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken. “Oh, I kept the first for another day, But knowing how way leads on way,/I doubted if I should ever come back.” I really like that poem.

Goodreads | Book Depository

There are a few other candidates for this list, but I’ll hold out on them a little longer. Still, I reckon it won’t be too long before I have another one of these posts.

1984 by George Orwell – Book Review

5470Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Negative utopia/dystopia, sci-fi

First published: 1949

Author: George Orwell

Goodreads synopsis: The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia” -a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions -a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

Book Depository | Goodreads

This book was a journey. It’s difficult to summarise, because it doesn’t have much in the way of things happening to the characters. It’s more about things happening within the characters. It toes the line between novel and essay and I think it does better as an essay than as a novel. It’s like the story and the characters are just an anecdote the author uses to explain his point. But I did enjoy it. It was thought provoking and even though it took me quite a long time to finish, I really liked it.

It is quite disturbing, particularly towards the end, with some of the ideas it brings forth about human nature, about reality and how we understand and relate to it. About what reality really is. One of the ideas that permeates the whole book is that of how history is whatever is written down, whatever is chronicled. And so long as the documents pertaining to the past are alterable, the past itself is alterable. Which seems like a stupid thing to say, because what happened, happened. But did it really? If there’s no one to remember it and nothing to document it, who’s to say one thing happened and not another? It’s a pretty head-ache inducing thought to follow, but I found it interesting to explore.

Another pervading theme was that of human nature and what it really is. Orwell takes quite a dark and pessimistic view of it in this book, essentially saying that hatred and selfishness always win. While I don’t entirely agree with it, he does make some valid points.

Because of the abstract ideas that is puts forward, the book is quite… trippy. Particularly towards the end, I wasn’t sure what to believe. What was real. It’s difficult to explain, but it sort of made me want to question everything. It made me a little bit paranoid, which was kind of disturbing because it sort of proved some of the points that were being made.

I feel like I could write my own essay dissecting the book and the ideas in it, but it’s an interesting read. I recommend it for people who like abstract thought and if you are one of those people, I encourage you to read it and see what your take on the ideas presented is. If you have read it, let me know in the comments what you thought about it. I’m really curious to know.