Mother Figures – Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme. Check out the Goodreads group for more details. This week’s topic is favourite mother figures.

Trying to think of what to pick for this topic, I realised how under-represented good mother figures are. We get so many examples of father figures, but I struggled with thinking of strong mother figures.


5. Charlotte from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

This is a very popular and well loved series, but I feel like Charlotte is one of the characters that gets somewhat overlooked. She is so integral to the found family atmosphere that is such a huge part of why the series is so amazing. She’s the glue that holds all of them together and she is determined to look after them, she takes all this responsibility on herself even though she’s not much older than the rest of them. But she loves and protects them fiercely, like only a mother could. And I think she’s very underrated and she deserves some recognition.

4. Kara Resnik from The Themis Files

We don’t see a lot of her as a mother in the series, but what we do see in my opinion definitely qualifies her for this list. She’s so fierce, will do anything to protect her child and I just got so many feels reading this series, particularly the stuff that related to Kara’s story arc as a mother. I found it very compelling, I felt how visceral her need to look after he child was. And I did enjoy her as a character in general, but I think it was not until I saw her as a mother that I really loved her. I do have a review of the series if you want to hear more of my thoughts.

3. Alana from Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

This graphic novel series is sooooo good. I love their little family. I’ve only read 3 volumes so far, but they’re such a cute family and I love Alana so much. She’s badass and vulnerable at the same time and she will DESTROY anyone who threatens her family.

2. Abbess Glass from The Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence

This has become one of my favourite series, I love everything about it. All the characters are great, but Abbess Glass is definitely one of my favourites. She’s this scheming… I wanna say Dumbledore-like character. She’s not really anything like Dumbledore except that she has the same kind of long sight that Dumbledore has and also the same kind of connection with Nona that Dumbledore has with Harry. She sees herself as a parental figure for all of the girls at the Convent and to some extent the whole world. She has this strong desire to protect as many people as possible, but is quite ruthless at the same time.

1. Essun from The Broken Earth Series by N. K. Jemisin

I love everything about this series. If you’ve not heard me rave about this series, check out my spoiler-free review and my spoilery rave. But specifically, the amount of mum feels I got from this book is unprecedented. I’m not really a maternal person. But this series man! And Essun and her single-minded desire to protect her children. It just gave me all the feels.

April 2019 Wrap Up

I read 7 books in April, which is not too bad especially considering I didn’t really read anything for good chunks of the month. Although one of the books I only finished in April and I didn’t really have that much left of it and most of the books I read were shorter than my usual reads.


The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

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I finally finished this book. I’d been reading it for a while and had kind of been neglecting it because I wasn’t really in the mood for it. but I finally finished it. I had maybe 150-200 pages left of it. I’ve now completed the series, I even have a series review for it. Check me out, being productive! The first book is still my favourite and I think this is actually my least favourite of the series. It’s a bit too long and I feel like it could have been streamlined a bit without anything being lost. It was still really good, I would say 3.75-4 stars.

The Martian by Andy Weir

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I had been putting this book off for so long. Every time I thought about buying it and reading it, I just didn’t really feel it. But I went with a couple of friends on a charity shop spree and I found it for like a ridiculous price. I think it was like 50p or something stupid. So I bought it. And I really wanted to read something that had no romance in it and this was the only thing that really qualified. So I picked it up and I read it in one day. It was so addictive and so much fun. I’m so glad I read it. It’s so funny, I really liked Mark, which is good cause he’s more or less the only character. I loved his ingenuity and as a scientist, I loved seeing his basically survive with science. I loved every second of it. 5/5 stars.

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

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The conclusion to this series was finally released in paperback, which is what I’d been waiting for since I have the first two books in paperback too. I absolutely loved this series, it’s probably one of the best sci-fi series I’ve read recently and I jumped into it off the back of The Martian, so I was really in a sci-fi kick. The second book is still my favourite in the series I think, but not by much. I’ve also reviewed the series, if you want to know more of my thoughts. 5/5 stars

The Dark Vault by V. E. Schwab

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This is a bind-up of The Archived and The Unbound. They were recently re-released in this format since the originals are out of print, so I finally got them and read them. I counted this as two books, because it is two books, but my edition is just one volume. This was good, it’s not my favourite Victoria Schwab book. The story concept is really cool as her stories usually are, but having read so many of her more recent books, I could tell this was one of her earlier works. It’s not as well written as some of her other books. It was still really enjoyable, I liked the characters for the most part and the plot was fast paced. I flew through all 600+ pages of it in like 2 days. There were some love triangle vibes going on, which I just hate that trope. I feel like in the case of this series, it was used more as plot device rather than to create tension, so it didn’t get too annoying, but I still just really hate that trope. 3/5 stars

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

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This was probably my most anticipated book of the year, definitely for the first half of the year. I started it as soon as the audiobook got released. Well, I pre-ordered the audiobook. I listened to this whole series on audio and they’re amazing. The narration is so good. I found out after getting it that they almost changed the narrator for this last one, but ended up delaying the release in order to keep her and I’m so glad they did. I would have cried if they’d changed her. Anyway, this was just as fantastic as the other books in the series. I can’t even decide which is my favourite in the series, they’re all so good. This has become one of my favourite series. 5/5 stars. I also have a series review if you want to know more of my thoughts.

Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

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This was such a pleasant surprise for me. I actually only finished it yesterday, so technically I didn’t finish it in April, but I only had like 2 chapters left, so I’m counting it. I got this in a Fairy Loot and was just feeling very meh about it based on the synopsis and just the overall vibe of the book. And then I decided to try a chapter of some of my TBR books (you can check out my post about that) to see how I feel before getting rid of them. And I’m glad I did, because I ended up really enjoying this. It was fun, fast paced, there were dragons and heists and it was just a lot of fun. It was somewhat predictable, but that didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed it. 3.5/5 stars.

Overall, I had a pretty good reading month. I enjoyed all the books that I read and I read quite a lot.

January-March 2019 Wrap Up

Ssooo… I have been severely neglecting my blog. It’s been a long few months. But I have actually read a decent amount of books. So be prepared for a massive wrap up.


Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

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I started the year with a Brandon Sanderson book because that’s always a nice start to the year. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I enjoyed Mistborn. Which is what I was expecting anyway. I am wholly satisfied with this book and if there will ever be a sequel to it, I am here for it. It’s not as well written as Mistborn, but it has a fascinating magic system and I would love to learn more about it. 4/5 stars

Saga Vol. 1-3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

I’ve read quite a lot of graphic novels this year and I have been especially loving Saga. I’m trying to pace myself with reading it because it’s currently on hiatus and I don’t want to have to wait ages. But the world and story is just so cool and creative. The art is also nice, it’s not the best I’ve seen, but it’s very creative and it’s not by any means bad.

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

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I actually finished this series, but I read the final book in April, so I’ll save it for the next wrap up. But this was actually my favourite in the series. I mean, this whole series is just so good and underrated in my opinion. It’s one of the best sci-fi series I’ve read recently. I’ve reviewed the whole series if you want to know more of my thoughts. I gave this book 5/5 stars.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

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Second Sanderson book of the year. I am on a roll with continuing with series/reading books by authors I know I enjoy. Which is something I’ve been wanting to do more. Not that I don’t like discovering new authors. But there’s just something satisfying about reading all or most of the works of an author. It just gives me a sense of accomplishment and when I also really love all the books, it’s even better. Anyway, I wasn’t disappointed by this one. I was a bit apprehensive because it’s a different genre from any of the other Sanderson books I’d read before, but I really shouldn’t have been. It was a bit slow to begin, but otherwise was great. I have a review of it if you want to hear more of my thoughts. 4.5/5 stars.

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

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I enjoyed this more than I liked The Lost Hero, but still not as much as I enjoyed the Percy Jackson series. I know it’s generally agreed that Percy Jackson is better, so I was expecting thins. But it does mean that I’m less inclined to get through them quickly. Which annoys me, because I really want to get to the Apollo books. 3.75/5

Vengeful by V. E. Schwab

This book wasn’t what I expected. I still enjoyed it, but it didn’t feel the same as the first one a d I definitely liked Vicious better. The most disappointing part of the book was the ending. It just was so anticlimactic. I gave it 4/5 stars, but now in hindsight it’s more of a 3.5 really.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Finally carrying on with this series! Once again, the physical book itslef was just a masterpiece. I think I like this one even more from that aspect, than Illuminae, because it’s blue and has drawings in it and blue is better than orange any day. I didn’t like the content as much as I liked Illuminae, but it was still pretty great. I have a review of this if you want to know more of my thoughts. 4/5 stars.

Monstress Vol. 1 by Marjorie Liu

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Another graphic novel series I started this year. And it is so good. I’m struggling to pace myself, since there are only 3 volumes out at the moment and I don’t know when the next one will be out. But it’s such a cool world and story and the art is amazing! 5/5 stars

Avatar: The Last Airbender Graphic Novels

So… I re-watched the show again. I don’t have a problem, shut up. And after re-watching the show, I wanted more, so I re-read The Lost Adventures graphic novel. Then I re-read The Promise Part 1 and went on and bought The Promise Part 2 and read it as well. If graphic novels weren’t so expensive, I’d just binge read the lot of them, but alas…

The Broken Earth by N. K. Jemisin

Lots of re-reads for me so far. I listened to all of these on audio, because the audiobooks are amazing and this series is amazing and if you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for? I have both a spoiler free review and a spoilery rave if you want more of my thoughts on it.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

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My first Ursula K. Le Guin book. I audiobooked it and it was okay. I enjoyed it. But it was kind of… vague? I don’t know, I would have wanted more information about the world, about how the magic works and about what exactly was going on. It was just kind of vague. I know there are more Earthsea books, but I’m not sure they follow the same characters. I still enjoyed it, I gave it 3/5 stars, but I was just expecting more from it.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Finally, I listened to the final three Harry Potter books, because they’re like comfort food and I needed some comfort in my life.

The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel – Series Review

Rating: 4.75/5

Genre: Sci-fi, thriller, apocalyptic

Author: Sylvain Neuvel

Synopsis: 17 years ago, a young girl named Rose fell through the ground in the Black Hills and found herself in an underground chamber filled with gleaming symbols, lying in the palm of a giant metal hand. Now a physicist, Rose leads a research team struggling to determine the hand’s origins. When another giant limb is discovered, she quickly devises a method for unearthing the hidden pieces, convinced there is an entire body out there waiting to be found.

Halfway around the globe, Kara watches helplessly as her helicopter shuts down over a pistachio field in Turkey. That’ll leave a mark, but she’s about to crash her way into what might be the greatest endeavour in human history.


This is one of the best sci-fi series I’ve read in a while. Or possibly ever. The first book is the weakest, in my opinion, I only rated it 4.5/5 stars and I can’t decide if I prefer the second or third books more. Probably the second one, but by a small margin. I can’t really go into the details as to why without spoilers.

This series takes the “file dossier” format that Illuminae made popular and rocks it. Don’t get me wrong though, format aside, this is nothing like The Illuminae Files (and I have to say, the Illuminae format is still cooler). The Themis Files is a space opera… which doesn’t really take place in space. I know that sounds like it’s not a space opera, but it is. It has the feel and epicness of a space opera, minus the space… per se. But we do have giant alien robots, so… yeah, it’s a space opera. And it’s also a thriller. The first 50-60 pages of each book are kind of like… ????, if you know what I mean. You just get thrown in and especially with the sequels, you’re like “Wait, did I miss something?”. But as soon as you get past those first pages, you get enough information that you’re not totally confused and it’s just sucks you in. I’d say those first pages are the weakest point of these novels. I for one don’t mind being confused, but it can be daunting and people might give up before things start making sense again. So, I’d say try to stick with them past the 60 page mark. Which considering the format, is not that much.

I really enjoyed the writing and that’s closely linked to me enjoying the characters, because obviously due to the format, we mostly just get dialogue. And it is FUNNY. Laugh-out-loud funny at times. The characters have such distinct voices and different kinds of humour, but they’re all dry and sarcastic and sometimes insane. It’s hard to explain the humour, sometimes it’s just your classic sarcasm but there’s also a lot of deadpan, which is somehow conveyed. I’m not sure how Neuvel manages to convey deadpan through dialogue only, but he does and it’s great.

As I said before, these books are told as a series of interviews or log files and there’s one character, rather mysterious who is conducting the majority of the interviews and he’s probably my favourite character. He’s one of the best deadpanners in this series and is absolutely hilarious, even though everyone constantly points out to him that he has no sense of humour. My second favourite character, and probably the second funniest, is I think at least loosely based on the author himself cause they’re both Canadian linguists.

The story takes place over like… 30 years or so, even more if you count from the time Rose found the hand as a child (not a spoiler, it’s in the synopsis!). Which is not what I’m used to seeing so much. Usually a sequence of events is triggered and it all unravels rather quickly. In a few months or a few years. But I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. What we do see happening in the book is super fast paced and action packed, but I like the idea that stuff that happens has very far reaching consequences and sometimes it takes years before all the implications of one event are understood. I loved that this is a story about humanity and it’s both hopeful and realistic. I feel like that’s probably more or less what would happen if we found a giant alien robot buried. I loved that this isn’t a story about heroes. It’s a story that follows the lives of a few people who were put in extraordinary situations and they did their best to survive and it’s more a story about them than it is about saving the world. I’ve heard this series compared to The Martian, and having recently read The Martian, I can confirm. It’s nothing like The Martian in content. But it is in spirit. It has that same focus of just people trying to survive in a situation that no one has survived before and on which there is no manual. They’re just making it up as they go. So if you like that sort of thing, you’ll probably love this series.

October 2018 Wrap-Up

Now that October is over, it’s basically Christmas and then the year’s done. It went by too quickly and not quickly enough at the same time. I read 4 books in October and 3 of them were sci-fi. I was on a sci-fi kick last month. Although I didn’t read as many books, I loved all of them.


Temeraire by Naomi Novik

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I finally got around to reading this book. I’ve had it for almost two years now on my shelf and something kept me from reading it. I read two of Naomi’s other books and loved both of them, so I finally decided it was time. And I don’t know why I was so apprehensive? This book was absolutely precious! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. 5/5 stars

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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This book kick-started my sci-fi craving. It was so good and different from what I normally read and also from what I’ve read before. I picked it up quite randomly. I had heard of it, but it wasn’t really high on my list. But then I was in Waterstones and picked it up at random and saw the format and I was sold. It’s written as a series of interviews and it reminded me of Illuminae. I’m really glad I picked it up though, because it was so good! 4.5/5 stars

Lifelike by Jay Kristoff

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I love Jay Kristoff, so of course I picked up his newest release. Didn’t even have to know what it was about. And since I was in such a sci-fi mood, I read it right after Sleeping Giants. I have to say I didn’t love it ass much as some of his other books. I really liked it, but it was just not as good as his other books. I set on a 3.75 rating throughout the book and then the last like 3 chapters happened and I had to give it 4.5/5 stars because… wow. I shouldn’t have expected Jay to pull any punches, but still.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

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Last book I read in October was a quick one. I was still in a sci-fi mood, but after two pretty dark and messed up books, I wanted something more lighthearted. And this strange little book both is and isn’t lighthearted. Like, it has a happy ending, but it gets pretty creepy in the middle. In any case, I found it charming and lovely and I’m excited to read more of Madeline’s books.

My TBR Shelf

I’ve never had a designated TBR shelf before. I usually kept read and unread books together. But I recently moved to a new flat and I have this little shelf right next to my bed, so I decided to put my unread books on it. These aren’t all of my unread owned books, because they wouldn’t all fit, so I kept my unread non-fiction books separately.

A great photographer, I am not, but this is what the shelf looks like at the moment.


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The books on here aren’t actually sorted in any particular way except that the hardbacks are at one end and I kind of grouped the white books, but other than that I just shoved them on in whatever order. The little shelf at the top holds the books that I’ve already started but have yet to finish.

In case you are for whatever reason curious as to what books are on my TBR shelf, they are as follows:

Top shelf (started but not yet finished)

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas – I’ve legit been reading this for a year now. Since it came out last year. I’m just really not enjoying it, mainly because I cannot stand Chaol. I just want to get through it so I can get to Kingdom of Ash. I’m almost halfway through it (I know, I hate Chaol that much).

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks – This is another one that I just couldn’t really get into. I was actually expecting to enjoy this book and series as I’ve heard great things about it from people I trust. And I am intrigued by the plot and the world, but again, I dislike the main character and it just puts me off reading it. Every time I pick it up, I read a few pages and I put it back down. I’m 135 pages into this one.

Looking for Alaska by John Green – I started reading this at the start of September, but then I just really haven’t been in a contemp kind of mood, so I haven’t been picking it up much.

The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis – This is the non-fiction that I’m currently reading and as usual with Lewis’ books, I’m really enjoying it. Though I have to say at least so far, this one is my least favourite of his books that I have read.

What If? Serious Scientific Answersto Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe – This is another non-fiction that I’m reading, though not as actively as The Four Loves. Because of the nature of this book, this is what I pick up when I have only 5 minutes and want a quick pick me up as each chapter is very entertaining and usually quite short.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch – You can’t actually see the spine of this one, but it’s the one with green pages. This is my meh book of the moment. Am I the only one who has a book that’s just kind of mediocre that you read when you’re too tired for anything that requires more than a quarter of a brain and you don’t want to read a book you love because you won’t be able to focus, but you want to read? Or when you just finished an awesome book and you know you won’t be able to focus on a new one, but you also want to keep reading? No? Just me? Anyway, this is my second Sara Raasch book and I didn’t really like the first one either.

The Bat by Jo Nesbo – Final book on the little shelf. I’ve been reading this book even longer than ToD. I’m debating just admitting that I’m never going to finish it. But… it was recommended to me by someone special and I just really wanted to like it.

Bottom shelf

I haven’t actually read any of these, so I don’t have much to say about each one. I’ll just list them, from left to right:

Hardbacks

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas | Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton | Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett | State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury | Vengeful by V. E. Schwab

Paperbacks

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund | Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pincola Estes | Elantris by Brandon Sanderson |A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by G. R. R. Martin | Origin by Dan Brown | Down River by John Hart

Wild Embers by Nikita Gill | The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab | The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett | Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu | Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen | A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas | Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel | American Gods by Neil Gaiman

A Huge Book Haul

I haven’t actually made a haul post since April. That’s 6 months of acquiring books. So… I don’t even know how many books there are going to be. A lot.


Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton | These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch | Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger | Catwoman Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas | Origin by Dan Brown

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett | The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett | Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie | Elantris by Brandon Sanderson | A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

City of Ghosts by V. E. Schwab | Vengeful by V. E. Schwab | The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred Year Old Man by Jonas Jonasson | Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik | Down River by John Hart

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel | Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel | Lifelike by Jay Kristoff | Wild Embrace by Nikita Gill | The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin

That’s it, unless I’m forgetting something. Which is entirely likely. Actually not as many as I was expecting. I was on a book buying ban for a couple of months though, so that’s probably why the total only comes up to 20. And some of these, I didn’t even buy myself!