Series in Which I’ve Only Read the First Book #1

I love reading series. But there are so many out there that I just have this bad habit of reading one book in a series and then not continuing, even though I really enjoyed it. Often, if I don’t immediately have the next book available to me, I just start reading something else and then end up not continuing with series that I really enjoy. So here are the series that I want to continue with, but have only read the first book. Since there are so man, I’ve decided to split this into two posts.


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

the wrath and the dawn

I read this earlier this year and I enjoyed it, although perhaps not as much as I thought I would. Still, I do want to continue with the series, especially that there’s just one other book.

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

shadow and bone

Also read this one earlier this year and I liked it, though not as much as I liked Six of Crows. Which makes sense, since this was written first. But I do want to continue with the series.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

good and evil

This was a fun book. Didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked. I think that’s mainly because I read it at the wrong time, so I don want to continue with this series.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands

I read this right after it came out, which I think was last year. I really liked it. It had deserts and rebels and it was cool and I don’t know why I didn’t pick the second one up when it came out, but I should.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

seraphina

I actually loved the first book. I have no idea why I haven’t picked up the second one yet considering I read this one a couple years ago, but there you have it.

The Farseer Chronicle by Robin Hobb

assassin's apprentice

I read this one over the summer and even though it was a bit slow, I think the series has great potential and I’m interested in continuing with it.

Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge

cruel beauty

This was a strange little book, but I personally really enjoyed it. I think the other one is actually a companion, but I guess it’s still considered a series.

The Broken Earth by N. K. Jemisin

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Just finish reading this one, it’s my most recent read, so I’m not super guilty for not continuing with this yet. But it was a really cool book and I look forward to reading the other two.

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

the diabolic

This is a book that I randomly picked up because it was on sale and I ended up really enjoying it. The second book came out this year and I should probably pick it up. Although… I was under the impression that this was a standalone. I think I even mentioned that in my review, and that sort of contributed to me not picking the second book up.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufmann & Jay Kristoff

illuminae

One of my new favourites this year, I really need to pick the second one up. This series is amazing!

Judging Book Covers

I like judging things. So I decided to go to my Goodreads read shelf, set it on random and then judging the covers of the first n books. Until I get bored, basically. I’m going to rate each cover out of 5 stars and I will divide the rating in two: 2.5 stars for aesthetic and 2.5 stars for relevance to the book.


1. Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Bryan Williams

I think this is a pretty good cover. It’s got pretty colours, an interesting font and it tells you something about the book. Based on this cover, you know that the characters go in some kind of tunnel, underground place and there are ominous looking guys with vicious dogs chasing them. Which gives you an idea about what to expect. All in all, thi book gets 2 stars for aesthetic and 2 for relevance, a total of 4/5 stars.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I own this movie tie-in edition of the book, which as far as movie tie-in editions go, is not hideous. I’m not really a fan of movie-tie ins because they usually have faces on them and faces on book covers just… don’t work that well. But I don’t hate this one. I like the colour scheme and it gives you a decent idea of what the book is about and it’s also not overly dramatic, as book covers with faces on them tend to be. I would say it 1.5 stars for relevance and 1 star for aesthetic, a total of 2.5/5.

3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I’m not a fan of this cover. The first thing I think of when I see it is jungle. It kind of gives me an Indiana Jones, lost treasure vibe and that’s just completely out of the scope of the book. If you’ve read the book and you pay attention, then you get the cover, but if you haven’t read the book, it doesn’t really tell you much about it, especially at first glance. I’m also not a fan of the font and that orange is the final nail in the coffin. It gets 1.5 stars for relevance, and 0.5 for aesthetic, with a total of 2/5 stars.

4. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Ok… what even is this cover? I mean, it’s pretty, I’ll give it that. It’s actually really pretty. I’m happy to give it the full 2.5 stars for that. But… what does that have to do with the book? Is it a book about evil cyborg butterflies? Or maybe about a sadistic bastard who likes torturing butterflies? Or maybe he has an army of cyborg butterflies that shred people with their knife wings? It just tells you nothing about the story. At least not about this story. You could argue that maybe the two halves of the butterfly represent the two girls, but you wouldn’t get that until after you’ve read the book. It does give off a sci-fi kind of vibe, so I’ll give it 0.5 for relevance because of that, with a total of 3/5 stars.

5. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

I’m usually not a fan of orange, but I don’t hate this one. I would like it better if it didn’t have the faces on there, but at least they’re not just pictures of people. I like the font a lot and the city landscape. You have the quiver there that tells you it’s got some warrior or hunter aspect to it, which is relevant to the story and the city landscape alongside the mystical looking swirly lights and glowy tattoos give you a good idea about the genre. I don’t think that Alec is necessarily the most relevant character to be on this cover, but it does give you an idea of the book. I’m going to give it 1.5 stars for aesthetic and 1.5 for relevance, with a total of 3/5 stars.

6. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

This is one of the editions of this book that I own, I do have another one as well, but I will rate this one. It has a nice, classic feel to it, it’s got a nice font with the alternate title included there as well, and I really like that forest green background. It also tells you quite a lot about the story, you have the dragon on top of its hoard of gold and a little silhouette there sneaking around trying to steal something, because why else would you sneak around in a dragon’s lair? I give this cover 2 stars for aesthetic and 2 for relevance, with a total of 4/5 stars.

 

Top Ten Books With Covers That Don’t Reflect the Inside

Top Ten Books With Covers That Don’t Reflect the Inside

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is book covers. I’ve chosen to tell you about 10 books that have covers that are simply discordant to their content. Whether the cover is beautiful and the book isn’t, or the other way around, or the cover simply has nothing to do with the book.


Caraval by Stephanie Garber

This book is gorgeous. Both the UK and the US editions are just so beautiful, I can’t even! But the actual story is absolute shit. I hated it so much, but it’s so beautiful that I’m never going to get rid of it. I have both a spoiler free review and a rant review of this, if you would like to know more about it.

Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard

Another one where the covers are beautiful, but the books are just not. Well, the first book was okay. I absolutely hated the second one. I obviously haven’t read the third one because I’m not subjecting myself to another book of rage and frustration, but yeah… I hated Glass Sword. You can check out my review of it if you are interested in knowing more.

The Sin Eater’s Daughter series by Melinda Salisbury

This series has such cool covers! And it’s so… boring. I’ve only read the first book, but it was so boring that I cannot imagine what happens in two more of them. I am telling you, this was a 250 page book of nothing happening.

The US Editions of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor

These covers don’t do the series justice. The UK covers are stunning, but I would not be interested in these books at all based on these covers. They’re kind of ugly. And they really don’t have anything to do with the plot. What close ups of girls wearing masks or makeup has to do with this? I don’t know. This series is so beautiful and the writing is magical and these covers just don’t reflect that.

Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder

I know there are some other editions of the books, but these covers make no sense to me. To me, this looks like some period romance/court intrigue series. It’s not. These covers just do not reflect the content of the books at all, in my opinion. Based on these covers, I would never buy these books. They’re not necessarily ugly covers, but they speak to me of a genre that I’m usually not very interested in.

The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

I don’t think this series has an entire set of matching covers. There are like 5 different cover editions at least and none of them are complete as far as I could tell. It’s so annoying. And what’s even worse is that all those editions are just varying shades of bad. The one in the picture is the edition I hate the most. It’s just so… bad. It does not do the series justice. The series is awesome! I want them re-released in a nice edition where they all match. Is that too much to ask?

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

the diabolic

It’s a really nice cover… I just don’t understand what a butterfly has to do with anything. I suppose the two halves of the butterfly could represent Sidonia and Nemesis, one soft and one sharp and serrated. But… why butterflies? They did that for Replica by Lauren Oliver as well. It’s like they have no idea what to put on the cover, so they just slap a butterfly on it and call it a day.

The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer

Again, very aesthetic covers, just… what do they have to do with the books? I suppose the theme of black, white and red does capture the vampire-y, but why an apple, a petal, a ribbon and whatever else? Could have been some objects that reflect the story somehow? I mean, I like these covers. And they’re so iconic by now, that everyone would recognise them. But I just wonder what the thought process was when first printing this. “Hmm… so this is a book about vampires. It’s called Twilight… let’s put an apple on the cover.”

The US editions of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

Both the US hardback and the US paperback editions are just hideous. This looks like some shitty comic-book covers. They’re so, so ugly and this series does not deserve such ugly covers. Thankfully, the UK editions are really cool. I’ve only read The Final Empire so far, but it was so amazing, I can’t wait to read the rest of them. I have both a spoiler-free review of it and a rave review if you are interested to know more of my thoughts.

The US covers of the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

These aren’t horrible, but they certainly don’t do the books justice. The UK covers are much better and I feel also capture the essence of the series much better. I absolutely adore these books, it’s one of my favourite series. I have reviews of both The Name of the Wind  and of The Wise Man’s Fear, if you are interested.

Autumn-Winter Book Haul

Autumn-Winter Book Haul

It’s been a long while since I’ve done a book haul. So I thought I’d show you the books I’ve acquired recently. I’ve been pretty sensible, I think. I’ve only got about 15 new books since September.

I’m going to show them to you in fives, because I’m too lazy to show you every single one of them. Plus, that would be a very long post. So here are the first five books. If I have a review for a book, I’ll link to it, so you can click on the title and see where that takes you.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo  | An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir | Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch | Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas | Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

I  only bought 4 of the following 5 books. I won Fear the Drowning Deep in a giveaway.

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The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid | Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh | A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness | The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss | The Wise man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss 

And finally, the last five books of which I actually only bought 3. So really, that brings my total for the last 4 months to 12 books. Which is reasonable. I’m actually kind of proud of myself.

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Avatar The Last Airbender: The Lost Adventures by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dimartino | Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise Part 1 by Gene Luen Yung | A Toaster on Mars by Darrell Pitt | Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

This concludes my book haul. I have been very sensible about buying books. Surprisingly sensible.

November & December Wrap up

For some reason, I didn’t do a November wrap up (probably because I didn’t really read in November), so I’m doing a combined wrap up. Which shouldn’t be too long, because I’ve been reading very little.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

an-ember-in-the-ashes-by-sabaa-tahirThis is the first book that I read probably back in November. I really loved it, it lived up to all the hype around it for sure. I have a review of it if you’d like to read all of my thoughts on it, but all around, I would say it’s a good fantasy, has an amazing setting and an interesting story. The characters weren’t my favourite, I feel like they were a bit too trope-y for my taste, but I still gave it 5/5 stars and I’m still looking forward to reading the next one.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

17399160This one was a bit of a disappointment for me. I was expecting more from it. It had a lot of potential; it had a brilliant setting and a decent plot to begin with, but the characters were insipid and the story was all over the place, as if Raasch wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do with it. I also have a review of it, if you’re interested to know more of my thoughts. I don’t think I will be continuing with this series. It was just too meh for me to be interested in the rest of it. 3/5 stars

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

26836910This was a surprisingly good sci-fi, considering it’s a standalone. So kudos to Kincaid. I’d never read one of her books before, but I might do just that now. I really enjoyed the story and the characters and overall, I just really enjoyed reading this book. It was very well balanced in terms of plot vs worldbuilding, which is something I really appreciate, especially that it wasn’t a particularly long book. I have a review of this one as well, so check that out for more details. 5/5 stars.

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Lost Adventures

10450750This was probably the best thing I read recently in terms of pure entertainment value. It’s a great graphic novel with awesome artwork and I really do recommend it for any fans of The Last Airbender. It’s one of my favourite shows and somehow, this managed to capture the essence of the show so well I could hardly tell the difference. I have a full review of this one as well, so check that out. 5/5 stars

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

2913377This book was a masterpiece. Like honestly, I hardly feel qualified to judge this book. It was just SO. GOOD! So masterfully written, so rich and powerful and just beautiful. I just want to have it scrubbed from my brain just so I can read it for the first time all over again. It’s that kind of book. I have a full review of this one as well, so be sure to have a look. 5/5 stars. But of a completely different caliber than the other 5/5 stars in this post. This series is in a league of its own, really.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

2495562And finally, the last book I read in 2016. And what a book! Of course I had to immediately read the sequel to The Name of the Wind. And now I of course have to wait forever for the next one. As if ASOIAF wasn’t enough frustration for me. Anyway, I read this mammoth of a book and I loved it every bit as much as its predecessor and I want the next one yesterday. I haven’t had the time to review it yet on account of it being huge and I want to do it justice. But I’ll have a review of it coming up soon, so keep an eye out. 5/5 stars.

 

 

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid – Book Review

26836910Rating: 5/5

Genre: Sci-fi

First published:  2016

Author: S. J. Kincaid

Synopsis: A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. When the power-hungry emperor summons Sidonia to the imperial court as a hostage, Nemesis has only one way to protect her. She must become her.

Book Depository | Goodreads


A standalone YA (ish) sci-fi is an elusive and endangered species. A good standalone YA (ish) sci-fi… well I don’t even remember when I read one last. Until I read The Diabolic, that is.

This book was a very refreshing read for me. I have been reading mainly fantasy recently, and while I love fantasy to pieces, I do need a little break every now and again. I really liked the idea of it and I really liked the characters. I liked Nemesis and her amorality. And I loved how the very things that were supposed to make her other than human were the very things that her humanity stemmed from. It was really well done in my opinion.

And then there was Tyrus. I loved him. I’ve always loved devious, scheming bastards and Tyrus reminds me a bit of Kaz from Six of Crows (thought Kaz is superior!). He is so devious, almost ruthless in his plots and manipulations, it makes you wonder which one of them is really diabolic. This sort of amorality/moral ambiguity has always appealed to me for some reason.

The plot surprised me. There were several times throughout the book when I expected things to go differently, which was a good thing. It kept me guessing. And it was also very compact without being vague. It gives the reader sufficient details about a fairly complex world, without being boring, without over-focusing on world-building. It was very well written. It’s rare to see standalone fantasy or sci-fi and when you do get one, either the world-building is sketchy, or there’s too much of it and the plot is barely there. This had a very good balance of the two.

Throughout the book, I was in two minds about how I should rate it. I was leaning towars 4 stars, not because I didn’t really like it, but I didn’t love it as much as I love some of the other books I rated 5 stars, even though I do generally rate on a curve. But I really liked how it ended. I liked that it was sort of… uncertain whether what one of the characters said (I can’t really say more than that). And I liked that it was open ended in the sense that there are a lot of issues within the world and the story that remain to be resolved, but it doesn’t make the book feel unfinished. It feels like the right place for it to have ended. So I gave it 5 stars in the end.

I recommend this book for sci-fi lovers. It’s a well written book and it’s a refreshing read if you’re used to your standard YAs.