Quick fire fantasy tag

I wasn’t sure what to post today (I’ve posted every day this month and I want to keep up that streak!), so I saw this tag over at Literaryleisha and decided to do it. It’s basically just an excuse for me to recommend all of my faves.

5-star book

holy sister

Always going to recommend

Own it but haven’t read it yet

Would read again

In another world


Back on earth


Vicious by V. E. Schwab – Book Review

viciousRating: 5/5 stars

Genre: Urban fantasy, adult

First published: 2013

Author: V. E. Schwab

Synopsis: Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? 

Book Depository | Goodreads

I have read 6 Victoria Schwab books to date and have loved every single one of them. Her stories are so unique and she doesn’t really confine herself to one genre, which a lot of authors do. Still, when you read a Victoria Schwab book, you know you’re reading a Victoria Schwab book, generally by the savage pain in your heart (I just finished reading Our Dark Duet and I’m not okay, but we’ll talk about that one later). One of the great things about her is that she doesn’t hold her punches. And it hurts, but that’s what makes her books so damn good. She makes you care about her characters and her stories.

But I digress, let’s talk about Vicious. This book is exactly what you’d expect from a book about two sociopaths. It’s dark, it’s gritty, it goes to places that are kinda disturbing and it’s fantastic.

I really enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters. It’s a bad one. It’s not the kind of relationship that tugs at heartstrings (even before they hated each other), it’s the kind that’s codependent and toxic and kind of terrifying. But it’s so well written, so… exactly how you’d expected to be given the two characters.

Another thing that I love about Victoria’s books is that her characters are individuals. And what I mean by that is that they’re believably people. They have unique personalities that aren’t just an outline of a personality. A lot of characters feel interchangeable. Like they’ve been mass produced in a factory and there are only so many stencils. And every character made by a stencil is the same because machines are consistent. But her characters feel hand-made. Crafted one by one, so even if the inspiration for them is the same, there’s that element of “human error”. Of inconsistency. So her characters are never the same. They’re always unique. I hope that makes sense?

I’m kind of struggling with reviewing this book because I feel like it’s hard to do without giving it away. The strength of this novel is less it’s action, as it is its characters and their journey and their interactions. I feel like the plot itself is less important. It’s just there as a backdrop for the characters. So in that sense, I would say that this book is very much character driven. But it’s also very action packed. It’s like a superhero film, except with supervillains instead. There’s constant action. It never gets boring.

Like I said, I’m struggling to find more to say about it without any spoilers, so you’ll just have to read it. I really hope that the sequel comes out this year though, because I need me some more of it.

December 2017 Wrap Up

I actually had a pretty good reading month in December, with a total of 10 books read.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strange the dreamer

Beautifully written as always, a beautiful story, I loved it. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it quite as much as I was expecting. I didn’t like it as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. But I still really enjoyed it and will most certainly be continuing with the series. I ended up giving it 4/5 stars.

Catching Fire & Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I started revisiting this story on audiobook in November and finished the first one and I got through the final two in December. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the audiobook, the narrator really didn’t do it for me. I found her to be quite annoying, so that took away from my enjoyment of the books. Of course, it’s still an awesome story and I still love it, but because of the narration, I ended up only giving it 4/5 stars for the audiobook.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab


Finally read this, it was about time. I loved her Shades of Magic series and I had heard only amazing things about this book and I want to read all of her books anyway. I was not disappointed. I need the next one asap. It’s so good! So good. I love the characters and the tension and how dark the story is. 5/5 stars.

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin


This series flew under my radar for a while, I don’t know why. I discovered it quite by chance as I was browsing Waterstones and it sounded cool and it seemed pretty well praised, so I bought it. I really liked. I had an issue with one part of the book that I just didn’t particularly enjoy, so I ended up giving it 4/5 stars, but the rest of it was A plus and I actually already bought the second book in the series and will hopefully read it soon.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo


This book was so beautifl. The art in it was beautiful, the stories were beautiful. I loved it. I had so much fun reading it. It reminded me of childhood when I would consume fairytales by the bucket. My favourite story was The Soldier Prince and my least favourite was probably Little Knife. Overall, I did give the book 5/5 stars.

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor


Finally continuing with this series! I don’t know why I waited so long. It’s so much fun,, so fast paced, just all around a good time. I did feel that some things were a bit rushed through in this book, I would have liked a bit more, so I ended up giving it 4/5 stars.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


A pertinent and insightful allegorical story. I found myself nodding along and grinning guiltily as I recognised aspects of my own life in the shepherd’s boy journey. I didn’t quite agree with all the idea presented in the book, but overall, I think it offers a very astute image of what we’re like. I gave it 4/5 stars.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick


This book was an experience. I’m so glad I bought it. I’ve never read anything similar to it. I love the art and the way it was interspersed with the writing. I just loved how this story was told so much. 5/5 stars.

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi


This book was just beautiful, it made me cry on several occasions. Just the relationship… well there isn’t really a relationship. But the main character did use to have a wife prior to the events of the book and the way that their relationship is described is just beautiful. That’s not even the main focus of the book, and I really enjoyed the story and the characters. It was funny, well written, intelligent. But that relationship just really packed a punch for me. 5/5 stars.

December 2017 Book Haul

I bought a bunch of books again… ’tis the season, after all.

All Fall Down by Ally Carter | See How They Run by Ally Carter | Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter | Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter | Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Ok, in my defense, I won the Ally Carter ones in a giveaway.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab | The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin |The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin | The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan | A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi | The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick