Mulan Live Action Film Rant

I recently got Dinsey+ and I decided to watch Mulan today. The live action remake, that is, and it was so bad. The best thing I can say about it is that it was very visually beautiful. There will be spoilers ahead.

Okay, so they turned this funny animated film about a girl who goes to war disguised as a boy in her father’s place. Took 98% of the comedic value of that story and replaced with some weird, pseudo-Chinese magic plot line. Where instead of having a girl who overcomes the challenges  of being physically smaller and weaker than the other soldiers through cunning and hard work, you have a girl whose “chi” is strong. Except apparently girls can’t have chi (even though the film also defines it as something that everyone has but I mean okay) because… it gives them magic powers?? I’m really confused about this bit cause we have another woman with “strong chi” who’s been exiled as a witch? And she can turn into a hawk? Or a flock of birds. Yeah… anyway. Mulan is magic now. 

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And that’s honestly all there is to the film. That, and a phoenix metaphor. It was boring, man. It was boring and it made no sense. They got rid of Mushu, first and biggest mistake they made. Then there was a bunch of talk about honor this and honor that and then she decides it’s not honourable to lie so she lets her hair loose (literally) and gets rid of her armour (because I guess armour is not feminine enough and was restraining her chi???) which are the two least logical things to do when you’re about to head into battle but girl power amirite? 

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Anyway, then she saves the day and goes back to her family to make amends and then the emperor gives her a sword and she becomes a legend. The end. It was just such a disappointment. It didn’t do anything right except cinematography. It was pretty. I’m not Chinese, so I’m only saying what I think, I may be wrong, but I thought even the rep was awful even though the cast was all Asian. And I’ve read some own-voices reviews that concurred. So, in the words of the great Mushu himself…

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Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

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Rating: 4.5 stars

Published: 2020

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Synopsis: Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…

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Damn, this book was so good. I loved it way more than I expected to, which is kind of how it went with Stalking Jack the Ripper as well. For the sake of preventing me from dissembling into incoherence inserting some sort of structure into this review, let’s first talk about the few things I enjoyed less and that prevented it from being a 5 star read for me.

The main thing I didn’t really enjoy and that pulled me out of the story was the excessive description of foods. I think it’s probably just a personal preference rather than bad writing, but whenever Emilia started listing ingredients for whatever food… it bored me and it took me right out of the story. I strongly dislike cooking and while I enjoy eating food, I don’t particularly want to know how it’s made. That made the first few chapters of the book really drag for me since they were very food-focused. As the plot progressed, it wasn’t as prominent anymore, but it still happened occasionally and I just found it jarring. 

Another thing that bothered me was the lack of communication between Wrath and Emilia. Like, I understand that they’re kind of enemies and he’s a demon so she’s loath to trust him. But sometimes, it just didn’t make any sense and so many issues would have been avoided if she’d just talked to him. Overall, I really enjoyed their dynamic, but occasionally I felt that Emilia in particular was just irrational in an almost absurd way. Wrath was also reserved, but I felt that his reluctance was more natural and made more sense. 

Other than that, this book was everything that I wanted. I find myself recently really craving lush and decadent either fae or other kind of paranormal being, enemies to lovers romance, but not… too romancey. Like more slow burn and also other things going on. I already knew Maniscalco is great at writing gothic mysteries, so I wasn’t surprised by that, but this just hit the spot so well and left me craving more. I can’t believe I have to wait until October for the next one. 

The setting was so lush and atmospheric. Obviously, since it’s set in our world, there’s not that much world-building to do, but just the way the mythology of the world was set up just drew me right in and was so evocative. Especially the audiobook, the sound effects they used along with the narration was just… chef’s kiss. I definitely recommend this book as an audiobook. 

In terms of characters… I absolutely loved Wrath. I’m a sucker for a dark, brooding, powerful hunk with hidden but hinted at soft squishy centre. I also liked Emilia well enough. She was kind of the more boring twin, Victoria was definitely more fun for the brief time she was present. but that was kind of the point and we got to see how what she was going through changed Emilia. I definitely like the Emilia at the end of the book more than the Emilia at the beginning. She’s far more interesting and I look forward to seeing where her character goes from here.  Also… Emilia and Wrath had better be endgame is all I’m gonna say. 

Overall, I highly recommend this. It is quite dark and very… occulty, so if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable, maybe it’s not for you. It’s also pretty gory at times so that’s something else to be mindful of. But otherwise, I definitely recommend this. 

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – Book Review

Rating: 4.75/5

Genre: Fantasy, adult

Pubilshed: 2018

Author: Robert Jackson Bennett

Synopsis: Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artefact of unimaginable power. Now someone wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them. To have a chance at surviving Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies.


This book was such a delight! It’s been a while since I’ve completely LOVED a book so much. I loved every character (with one exception), I loved the writing, I loved the world, I loved the story. It’s just fantastic! Robert Jackson Bennett is now the newest addition to my list of favourite authors. 

The story is set in this steampunky urban fantasy type thing. That sentence made no sense, but I’m going with it. This has a magic system so unique and complex, I loved it so much. It’s probably one of my favourite magic systems I’ve ever read. It rivals Brandon Sanderson’s magic systems and even surpasses some of them. If not all. It just has so much character. The magic system itself is almost like a character. It’s fantastic and I adored it.

It’s been a while since I loved a cast of characters so much. I think they’re generally great, with one exception. I did not love the love interest. I really wanted there to not be a romance at all. The fact that there was is what actually bumped it down a quarter of a star. The love interest is… fine. I just found her to be kind of… bland. I think to be honest, my very, very strong desire for there not to be a romance definitely played  played a part in my dislike of the love interest, but I also just thought she didn’t really stand out in any way. One thing I really am not looking forward to is the romance in the subsequent books. It’s so hard to find books without any romance and I thought this might be one of them because the love interest didn’t show up until maybe halfway through. But yeah… that’s just personal preference and if you don’t have that same problem, you’ll probably love it. 

I also found the main antagonist to be just a tiny bit… moustache twirling. It was one of those things where they make the villain be every evil thing ever just because. Without any nuance. Like “This guy is super evil. He likes to kill people. And is greedy. And he’s a rapist. Oh, and in his spare time, he kills puppies. Because he is SUPER EVIL!”. However, there was so much going on that it didn’t bother me too much and it was mostly made up for in other ways. 

The story was so fast paced. It was just one thing after another. If you love heist stories, you’ll love this. If you love stuff like The Lies of Locke Lamora and Six of Crows and those kind of heist stories, you’ll love this. If you like stories about unlikely allies and found family, you’ll love this. It’s just got so many awesome things going for it. I would 100% recommend, though do be aware that it’s fairly gory. 

The girl and the Stars by Mark lawrence – Book review

43155726._sy475_Rating: 4.5 stars

Genre: adult, fantasy, grimdark

Published: 2020

Author: Mark Lawrence

Synopsis: In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.

On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.

Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.


This was by far one of my most anticipated books of the year and Mark Lawrence came through again and dragged me out of my reading slump to delight me with his fantastic world.

This book obviously takes place in the same world as the Book of the Ancestor series (which I’ve reviewed for your convenience). I don’t think we get a timeline of when the events of this book take place relative to Nona’s story, at least not in this first book, but it focuses on a lot of aspects of the lore that we just kind of glimpse in Nona’s story. Which I am so glad about because I still have so many questions and I can’t wait to see how it all ties together and I am just super excited for this series. I don’t think it’s strictly necessary to read the first series, but I would recommend it because there’s a lot of world-building in that series that you don’t see in this one. And it’s not because of bad writing, but it’s just because of the ignorance of the main characters. They will probably slowly get revealed in this series as the story progresses, but I think knowing those things in advance definitely add to the story.

The biggest problem I had with this and really why I didn’t give it 5 stars is that the relationships seemed kind of rushed. The whole thing takes place over I don’t know. A few weeks maybe and already after the first couple of days they were all tight friends and it felt kind of rushed. It wasn’t too bad, like it didn’t get in the way of the story too much but it was a bit of a let-down for me. Otherwise, I enjoyed the characters. I still think I prefer Nona over Yaz, but I really liked Yaz as well. I liked the supporting ast as well, though I do wish we’d got to know some of them a bit better. Thinking back now, I read the book maybe two weeks ago and I don’t have a strong feel for what a lot of the supporting characters are like. I think there’s just maybe 3 or 4 of them that I can distinctly remember and rest are just kind of a blur and even while reading I couldn’t really remember who was who.

We do meet some interesting characters who may or may not be human, who knows, and I thought they were really cool I just want to know more about them. I’m really, really intrigued by the conflict going on. It was kind of hinted at vaguely in The Book of the Ancestor, but here it’s just fully focused on and I can’t wait to find out what’s going on.

The underground setting was so cool. It just gave the whole of Abeth a new dimension and it took the world we already knew and expanded it and I loved it.

The ending was just such a… I don’t even know what the appropriate word for it is. It was just emotionally demanding. And a cliffhanger. And I just want the next book now. The tragedy of new books is that you have to wait so long for the next instalment. But yeah, would 100% recommend this book if you enjoyed his other series. And if you’ve not read that, then I recommend you go do that. Though do be aware that these are fairly dark books. There is a fair bit of violence and sometimes gore so reader discretion advised.

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang – DISCUSSION

I have a lot of feelings about this book even though I DNFed it at around 80%. This will contain spoilers, you have been warned.

Okay, first let’s talk about why I decided to DNF it. I wanted to finish it and maybe I will at some point when I feel mentally prepared. But the reason I DNFed it is because of the really, really horrific sacking of that city. I wanted to carry on reading because I know this is based on an actual fairly recent historical event and I always feel like I should know the stories of the suffering of my fellow humans. Not because I enjoy it, but because it’s the only thing I can do. To know, to get angry and to remember. But I honestly could not stomach it. I have a fairly strong stomach, I would say. I’ve read some pretty dark stuff, but this just got to a point where I just couldn’t. And I appreciate that the author was trying to portray the horrific things that happened but I had to stop. It was putting me in a really unhealthy place mentally. So that’s why I didn’t finish the book, if you have a stronger stomach than I, then maybe you can.

That aside, I still read most of the book, so I have formed some opinions. I really enjoyed the first half or so. I had a few issues, however. One of them – and I talked about this in my last wrap-up – is the way that Rin just destroyed her uterus because she got her period and it freaked her out. I don’t like kids, I don’t want any and my period has frequently made me feel like I want to rip my uterus out of my body and be done with it forever. However, the removal of one of one’s major organs, I felt, was dealt with rashly and it wasn’t really addressed. I would have expected to see at least some pondering on Rin’s part. There was one character who mentioned briefly that it’s the removal of her organs Rin’s talking about, but that’s it. I kind of understand that Rin was scared, didn’t really know or fully understand what was happening to her, having not been told about periods… but, firstly, I don’t think anyone would be so blase about something like that. And secondly, regardless of how scared or in pain she might have been, Rin was clever. It seems very out of character to me for her to not think about this at all. I found it weird. It’s something that I could overlook, but I found it weird enough that I had to mention it.

Another thing I find less easy to overlook is the drug abuse that goes on. The way the magic system works is through the consumption of mind altering substances. I find that very problematic. Because I feel like it almost encourages substance abuse. Yes, Rin grows up around opium addicts and is very against opium consumption. But then she turns around and uses other mind altering substances, including poppy seeds (which are the source of opium) for her magic. Not only that, but her mentor encourages her to cultivate her “magic” and feeds her drugs. Is it just me who finds this very problematic and not at all a good way to construct a magic system? Especially considering how much hype this series has surrounding it. Why is no one talking about this? Or am I just looking in the wrong places.

I still genuinely enjoyed the first part of the book despite my issues with it. I loved the bit at the school. Once the war started, I found it a bit more boring, oddly enough. Like, the new characters, the sikh (not sure I’m spelling that right, I audibooked this) seemed kind of dimensionless to me. I genuinely couldn’t tell you much about them besides that one was water, one was an ape guy, one had a rake and there was a girl who… had a twin? They just seem like token characters to me and it all focuses of Altin and Rin and I found that dynamic quite boring. I stopped reading shortly after that, so I can’t really comment any further. There are still things that I’m really curious about and I would like to finish this book and potentially carry on with the series, but I just don’t know when I’ll be in a sound enough state of mind to be able to read it without it being unhealthy for me. So I thought I’d talk about it, because I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb – Book Review

22016387Rating: 3.5/5

Genre: Fantasy

First published: 1996

Author: Robin Hobb

***THIS IS THE SECOND BOOK IN THE SERIES. THEREFORE, THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS AND REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK. YOU CAN CHECK OUT MY SPOILER FREE REVIEW FOR THE FIRST BOOK INSTEAD***

Synopsis: Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin, but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family.

Renewing their vicious attacks on the coast, the Red-Ship Raiders leave burned-out villages and demented victims in their wake. The kingdom is also under assault from within, as treachery threatens the throne of the ailing king. In this time of great danger, the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz’s hands—and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.


Two years later, I finally continued with the series. My thoughts on this book are remarkably similar with my thoughts on the first one. It’s quite slow to begin with, although I think it wasn’t as slow as the first one. The first one took about half the book for anything to really happen, whereas with this one, once I got past the first third or so, things started picking up.

There was a lot of focus on Fitz’s romance with Molly, which I didn’t enjoy at all. I wish we’d had less of that (fingers crossed the third book has less of that going on). I didn’t care about the relationship at all. It was awkward and while the obsessing that took place is realistic, it’s also very annoying. Like, I find it annoying even when I’m the one doing the obsessing, I really don’t want to be in someone else’s head while they’re doing it. It didn’t help that I still don’t really care about the characters. I don’t dislike them or anything, I’m just detached. I’m not invested in their happiness and well-being, if that makes sense. I care a lot more about the story and the romance really didn’t move that forward in any way. So I personally didn’t like it, but I guess if you care about Fitz and Molly and you like angsty romances, this might be something you enjoy.

Again, this is very political. I think it’s not as political as the first one. There’s a bit more good old fashioned sword fights, but the political machinations are still the main focus. Which I enjoyed more than I did in the first book. Fitz started to think more for himself and make his own decisions, instead of blindly going along with other people’s manoeuvring. Which I definitely liked to see.

We also learnt a bit more about the magic, which was my favourite part. I wish there had been more of that going on and less romance. It was also sorely lacking in assassin stuff for a book that’s called Royal Assassin. That’s a persisting problem from the first book. I want more sneaking about and killing people, is that so much to ask? I also would have liked to get more about the external threat. As I said, it’s a very political story, so a lot of the threats and antagonists are internal politics, but there is also the external threat of the raiders, which is quite mysterious in a way and we don’t learn a lot more about it. We learn a little, but not as much as I would have liked.

All in all, as with the first book, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. I will continue with the series. I have heard that the subsequent series are better and are worth pushing through this one. Hopefully it won’t take me another two years to get to book 3 though.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman – DISCUSSION

This has spoilers. You have been warned. I do also have a spoiler-free review of the series if you want to check that out instead. This is mainly a discussion for the final book, but I will also be talking about the series in general.

I didn’t like this book. I loved the first two, but I hated the ending. It’s so unsatisfying. The problem that we spent two books on, namely Goddard and the New Order Scythes is not solved. At all. Sending a bunch of people into space to possibly set up colonies and start over IS NOT A SOLUTION!!!!! I am so mad at that ending. It’s rubbish. It’s utter rubbish! I know that Goddard did die, but it still wasn’t a solution. It just happened because Rand was fed up. But the resolution of the plot was to send a bunch of people into space and hope. Which was a stupid solution.

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Especially with the whole fail-safe thing. Scythes were cancelled, basically. So the Thunderhead could have intervened. He could have like supplanted the New Order Scythes. Or it could have let one of its copies that didn’t have the stupid no-intervention rule to supplant them. Or something. I don’t know, literally anything would have been more satisfying than what we got. They could have dealt with Goddard and THEN tried colonising space. That would have been fine. And if the colonies were successful, they could cancel the fail-safe too and then it would have been even more utopian. I don’t understand why do it this way. It’s stupid and totally unsatisfying and it ruined such a great series.

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Also the fail-safe was so anti-climactic. We spent so much time building up to it and then it all resolved in like one chapter. We barely got to see any repercussions for it. Everything was just left open ended and I hate it. I don’t always mind open ends, but this one sucked. And it didn’t make sense. If it had made sense, I think I’d have been okay with it, but it just didn’t. There were so many better solutions to all the problems. And I just find it hard to believe that the Thunderhead, who supposedly was never wrong, figured that this was the only viable option.

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I also didn’t like where most of the characters ended up and how their stories developed. Wasn’t a fan of Greyson’s story arc in the final book. He could have been so much more interesting based on the first 2 books. The whole Toll thing was just… meh in my opinion. I didn’t hate it… but I just found myself uninterested whenever his chapters were on. I didn’t think he really evolved in this book and he was annoying at times when interacting with the Thunderhead. To be fair, the Thunderhead was being infuriating as well.

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I think Scythe Rand was done a huge disservice. There was so much potential for character development with her. I loved the parts about her and Tiger and I think way, way more could have been done with her, but she was just kind of relegated to the sidelines. At least she kills Goddard I guess, but more could have been done.

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I would have been… okay with how Citra and Rowan ended up. If it had been under any other circumstances. But considering how much I hated the space thing, I was not happy with how their story developed either.

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I didn’t really care much about the two new characters. The captain and the former nimbus agent. I forget both their names. I didn’t really like the captain, I found him/her annoying on several levels, but at the same time, I could very easily ignore that because I just didn’t care about him/her. I have no opinion whatsoever on the nimbus agent. I think she was bland, to say the least.

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I think the only character I was okay with how they ended up was Faraday. I think that all things considered, he’s the only one who got a somewhat satisfying ending.

So yeah, I’m very mad at this book. I have strong feelings, which just goes to show how much I cared. It’s such a great story and I’m really mad that it got such a crap ending. It deserved better.

Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman – Series Review

Series rating: 3.75 stars

Genre: YA, utopian, sci-fi

Author: Neal Shusterman

Synopsis: A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.


I have mixed feelings about this series, as you can see from the rating. I loved the first two books, but I did not really like the finale. I talk about it more in my spoilery discussion, but basically the ending didn’t make sense to me and I didn’t like it.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This series has one of the most interesting utopias I’ve ever read. To be fair, I’ve not read that many, but this is very well written and cool. I think it does a very good job of imagining what society might look like if there was no death or disease and I really liked how it touches on… does life really have any meaning when you’re not needed and how our sense of meaning is tied to work. I think that’s really interesting and I think overall the series does a very good job of presenting these questions for the reader to  consider and answer.

I also liked the characters. I didn’t necessarily like where they ended up and how stuff progressed, but I did like the characters themselves. Though they did frustrate me at times. As for the plot, like I said I really enjoyed the first two books and I even enjoyed a good chunk of the third book, but the ending… no. Just no. I didn’t like what happened and I didn’t like the way it happened. It’s hard for me to talk about it without spoilers, so check out my discussion for more details.

I would still recommend this series, I think it’s definitely worth reading and everyone might not have the issue with the ending that I did. And even if you do, I would still say it’s worth reading for the rest of it. But just be prepared for a potentially unsatisfying ending. I know this review is very short, but most of my thoughts on the series are spoilery, so I can’t really talk about them here.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon Books 1-3 – Spoiler Free Review

Rating: 4/5 stars

Genre: Fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, adult

Author: Samantah Shannon

Synopsis: The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to a mysterious prison. There, she is assigned to Warden, one of the mysterious group controlling her new home. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.


This series was a pleasant surprise for me. I’d been reluctant to read it because I’d heard it’s dystopian. But I thoroughly enjoyed it, I sped through the three books that are currently published. It’s quite addictive. I’ve seen it categorised as YA, but I’d put it more on the adult side. Either way, it’s good fun.

I like the characters. I think Paige is a good balance between being brave and defiant and all that without being unrealistic. She’s also not unrealistically powerful. Like, often the MC has magic and suddenly becomes this super powerful master of their power. And that doesn’t happen here. And it’s the same for some of the other characters. They’re not overpowered, in my opinion. I also love the fact that there is a male/female friendship. I don’t like some aspects of it which I can’t really talk about without spoilers. but it’s better than nothing. I really want more male/female close platonic relationships. There is a slight element of… not really insta-love, but just some things that in my opinion happen too quickly and I’m just like… meh. But overall, I like the characters.

The world is very interesting. It’s kind of steampunkish, but also futuristic somehow. Like, it’s very Victorian, but at the same time, it’s high tech. It’s hard to explain, but I like the effect. I also like the magic system, though I wish it were better explained. I’m still a bit confused about some things and I don’t know whether that’s intentional because the MC doesn’t know a lot of stuff and it will be revealed later on, or it’s just under-explained. But I like the different categories of powers. I always like magic systems where there are different types of abilities.

The story itself is pretty action-packed. There’s always something going on. It’s like Hunger Games meets Bourne meets Inception. It just always keeps on your toes, wanting to know more. Even though sometimes it can be predictable it still grips you because you might know that so and so will escape, but you don’t really know how and at what cost. One thing I will say is that it does play a little bit fast and loose with the limits a human body can be pushed to. I think the first three books take place over slightly less than a year during which Paige gets badly battered quite a few times. Knowing how long it’s taking my sprained thumb to heal while I’m well fed and warm and not frequently fighting for my life, I’m a bit sceptical at Paige’s healing. But I’m willing to overlook that because let’s be honest, it would be boring without all the fighting.

So overall, thoroughly enjoyed this series, I’m glad I only have to wait until the start of next year (which is around the corner :o) for book four.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Book Review

obsidioRating: 3/5 stars

Genre: Sci-fi, YA

Published: 2018

***SPOILER ALERT*** This is the third book in a series. The following synopsis and review may contain spoilers for the first two books in the series.

Synopsis: Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.


I was kind of disappointed with this book. I absolutely loved Illuminae and likes Gemina, even though I didn’t love it as much. This one, I still enjoyed, but I did find myself unmotivated to read it. I actually had to get the audiobook in an attempt to finish it (which was a great option cause the audiobooks for this series are top notch). I eneded up listening to it and floowing along in my physical copy (which I think is the best way to experience this series. The reason I was unmotivated to read wasn’t that it was bad, but it was just so repetitive. It did the same things that Illuminae and Gemina did, so I felt like I read the same book 3 times, with slightly different names and locations. The first book was absolutely fantastic, it was new, it was exciting. But the rest of the series didn’t grow, it didn’t evolve. It was just the same thing over and over again and it became predictable.

My favourite parts of the book were by far the parts with AIDAN. Even though his story arc is also pretty repetitive and predictable, I just enjoy his character so much that I minded less than with everyone else. I still did enjoy the interactions between the old characters, although I have to say I didn’t really care much about the new characters introduced in this book. I didn’t dislike them, I just didn’t care about them. I found myself glazing over during their parts of the story. I think that was mainly because they were so similar to the other characters. Again, it’s like they found a template that worked in book 1 and then stuck with it.

The story was still action packed and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the book, but I was definitely disappointed. I would even say there was less of less of a thriller aspect than in the previous books. I originally gave it 3.75 stars, but in hindsight, it really doesn’t deserve more than 3. It was entertaining, but disappointing. I find myself at a loss for what to say, really. Because the only thing that really struck me was how repetitive it was. nothing else really stood out and because it was so predictable, it didn’t really emotionally draw me in like the first book did.