Saturday, 4 April 2020

ARC review: The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

It's not often that I read adult fiction, but when I was asked if I'd like a copy of Veronica Roth's new adult fantasy book, I knew I had to try it as I loved so many of her books. If I was going to jump into adult fantasy I may as well jump in with an author I already know and love right?

If you haven't heard about it, here it is:

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Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice - catastrophic events known as Drains - leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. The Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him.

After the Dark One fell, the world went back to normal . . . for everyone but them. After all, what do you do when you're the most famous people on Earth, your only education was in magical destruction, and your purpose in life is now fulfilled?

Of all the five, Sloane has had the hardest time adjusting. Everyone else blames the PTSD - and her huge attitude problem - but really, she's hiding secrets from everyone . . . secrets that keep her tied to the past and alienate her from the only four people in the world who understand her.

On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One's defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One's ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold - bigger than the world itself.

And this time, fighting back might take more than Sloane has to give.

I will say now, this was quite a complex and hard-hitting book - it deals with so many deep subjects, PTSD, addiction, depression etc. but all of it was written so well that you felt like you were really able to connect to the characters and I really  liked that about this book. I particularly found it interesting to read about how each of the 'Chosen Ones' dealt with the aftermath of their victory differently. Sloane especially is one of my favourite characters, some of her parts really pull you in and make you sympathise with her.

This was definitely a book that kept you on your toes, you thought you knew where it was going, and then bang there was another plot twist dropped in and your mind is left scrambling trying to figure out how you missed it. These twists were amazingly written, so much so that you felt like you should gave guessed what was happening all along.

The book was actually split into different parts, so it was easy to break into different sittings if you're not the biggest or fastest reader, which I think is useful for many potential readers.

Overall, I really liked how complex and different adult fantasy fiction is, I think that this has made me want to read a lot more of it. I definitely know that if Veronica decides to write more adult fantasy I'll definitely be reading it.

So, I give this book: 5 cats!

Are you planning on reading this or are you planning to read it? Comment below with your thoughts.
This book is out on the 7th of April and I definitely think you should go and pick it up!

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Review: Alice by Christina Henry

I have had my eye on this book for so long, that when I popped into Waterstones one week I just had to choose this book to buy. I am slightly obsessed with Alice in Wonderland and any variations of it (I own about 5 different movie/TV versions) that I couldn't resist this twisted take on the story.

Here it is:


In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside. In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn't remember why she's in such a terrible place-just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood... Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago. Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful. And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

This book was utterly absorbing - so much so that I read it in less than a day, and then pushed it into my sisters hands and told her she needs to read it. It was such a different take on Alice in Wonderland that I just zoomed through, wanting to know what would happen and not wanting to stop to do anything else until I had found out.

I adored the relationship between Alice and Hatcher throughout the book - it was weirdly beautiful how they supported each other through everything despite the fact that they both had pasts that they were trying to remember, and despite the fact that they both agreed that they would rather die than go back to what they were like before they escaped the hospital.

If I had to describe this book in one sentence: a deliciously dark and twisted version of Alice in Wonderland that will suck you straight into the action.

This is definitely a dark book, so beware if that isn't your thing, but it's definitely action packed and I really can't wait to get the next book and see just what happens in Alice and Hatcher's next adventure.

I give this book: 5 cats!

Have you read this book before or any other twisted Alice stories? Comment below!

Saturday, 8 February 2020

ARC Review: The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood

I got gifted an ARC of this book by Tor after requesting it because it sounded right up my street. I'm glad to say that I was right, and it definitely didn't disappoint.


What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Oh, I don't know where to start with this book at all - it was one of them books you really want to savour and so I read it slow and steady so I could really take everything in, and wow was there so much to take in! It was such a beautiful setting, and I'm just sorry I didn't get a map in the ARC, I would love to visualise everything so much more. This is probably why  I'll be grabbing a finished copy, to help me to really get stuck in with visuals on any future rereads.

I think that the fantasy world built by the Larkwood is just so beautiful and complex and I loved the idea that there is a maze with all the different worlds connected that you can get to through Gates, it just seems so wondrous and I really wish that it was a real concept because I think it would be such an adventure to go around visiting individual worlds and seeing the different places and cultures.

If you like Sci-Fi or Fantasy, or even them both mixed together, this is the book for you - add in a bit of LGBT romance and I'm sure it will tick so many boxes for certain people. Add to this that you get the see the MC Csorwe really grow and empower herself as she gets away from being the Bride of the Unspoken and it makes a stunning book that you don't want to put down.

I admit, it took me a while to get into it, but that's because I am someone who loves to make sure she's pronouncing things right, and checking to see who each character is, and this is helped by the pronunciation guide at the front of the book. I do love a guide, but that is something I kept flicking back to so I can check everything, so I think that the flow was disrupted because of that. But, if you're better at me and don't need the guide then you're probably going to get into the book a lot easier than me, and I'm sure once I re-read it I'll be breezing through the beginning of the book.

Overall this book is just immersive and intense, full of twists and turns you wouldn't be able to guess and heroic rescue plots, so I really think you should all go and grab a copy as soon as you can. It's out on 20th February so get pre-ordering now!

I give this book: 5 cats!

Have you read this already or do you plan to read this? Comment below! (and go buy a copy)

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Review: Throne of Swans by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

Oh guys, I am going to try my best to give this book the review it needs, but I doubt I'll be able to put into words how amazing the book was. I got the proof at YALC 2019, and decided to read it around the time it was going to be published - and I'm now kicking myself for waiting so long it was so good!

Here's the book for those wondering:

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In a world where the flightless are ruled by those who can fly...

When her father dies just before her birthday, seventeen-year-old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys, a dominion in a kingdom where nobles are able to transform at will into the bird that represents their family bloodline. Aderyn's ancestral bird is a swan. But she has not transformed for years, not since witnessing the death of her mother - ripped apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the long-ago War of the Raptors. 

With the benevolent shelter of her mother and her father now lost, Aderyn is at the mercy of her brutal uncle, the King, and his royal court. Driven by revenge and love, she must venture into the malevolent heart of the Citadel in order to seek the truth about the attack that so nearly destroyed her, to fight for the only home she has ever known and for the land she has vowed to protect.

Written in rich detail and evocative language, this is the start of an irresistible, soaring duology about courage, broken loyalties and fighting for your place in the world.

Okay, first things first: how beautiful is this cover? I went to a Hotkey brunch to do with this book, and we got to see a clip of how it was made by the artist, and wow what an eye-opener that was. Plus, as you all probably know, I'm a bit obsessed with gold foil on covers, and this has it, so yaknow, I'm like Gollum again with the shiny things.

Okay, to the actual content now. I managed to read this book in one sitting - it is a book that you just fly through (no pun intended) and that lets you jump into the world so easily. It's such a fantastical book, and you really connect with the MC Aderyn so easily - I was routing for her throughout the book and you really got to see her evolve after being raised solely in Atratys after her mothers death. You see her adapt to court and learn how to navigate the complexities of court life with the help of Lucien (and oh my I do love a bit of Lucien - but this is not the time to talk about him).

The world building in this series is what I love most, you really get a sense of what is going on in the world, and how the world is run, and that's not always the case in some books. It really helps you to immerse yourself into the book and feel like you are part of it. I think that the underlying issue of the flightless vs. the flighted is such a complex issue, and I can't wait to see where Kat and Liz take this in the second book.

One of the things Kat and Liz told us at the brunch was that the book was inspired by The Swan Lake - so if you like that, then you will love this series all the more. I've never really known the story of Swan Lake, but after reading this and hearing how it inspired the book I think I may have to take a look at it and see what it's all about.

Overall, this is just such a beautifully written book and I think it's going to be an amazing duology, I can easily see this becoming one of my favourite series - I don't know how I'll be able to wait for the next book!

I give this book: 5 cats!

Throne of Swans is out now, and I highly suggest you go and buy a copy - I know I'll be going out soon to buy a finished copy to go with my ARC as soon as I can!

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Blog Tour: Storm of Ash by Michelle Kenney

There are no words to explain how excited I was to be a part of the blog tour for Storm of Ash, I've loved each book of this series and I knew that I wouldn't be disappointed by the finale, which turned out to be true. 

If you're interested my reviews for the first and second books are here: Book Of Fire [1]City of Dust [2])

Here's the description for this one:

"As Talia treks back through the treacherous North Mountains, she knows only three things:

Pantheon has stolen nearly everyone she loves;

Her blood is the only control over the Voynich’s oldest secret;

And Cassius won’t stop hunting Arafel until every last outsider is destroyed.

Will Talia finally face her legacy and defeat Cassius before it is too late?"

Let's just start with one thing - this beautiful cover. I mean, what an absolutely amazing cover, and it just totally fits with the plot of this book so well, when you read it you'll soon find out just why it is as it is. 

Now that the oohing over the cover is over with, can I just say wow. Guys, this was everything I wanted from the last book in the series.... it's just the epic conclusion you need/want from any trilogy. Even if there were some heart breaking scenes throughout - it did definitely take me on yet another emotional rollercoaster like the last book (thanks for the feels Michelle). I couldn't keep up with all the emotions I was cycling through whilst reading this, but it was all worth it for how the series ended.

I have always said that Talia is such a good character, and in this book it was no different, she really had to navigate some difficult things throughout and she managed it brilliantly. I think that's why I like her so much, throughout the books you always see the shine of her outsider heritage, even in difficult times. I think 'feral cat' was definitely a great way to describe her.

Also, not spoiling anything but I'll just say I still love August, even with how much I like outsiders, I will forever be #teamaugust. Now I just need to find my own August in the real world *sigh*.....

One last thing: I seriously can't get over my love for Unus the Cyclops in this series.... He's such a beautiful, friendly character and rereading just made me remember all of that. The friendship between Talia and Unus is definitely one of my new favourite friendships from a series.

I really really hope to see more of this world that Michelle has built, but either way I know I'll be reading any future books that come from her.

Overall l give this book: 5 cats!

Have you read the series? If not I highly recommend them! And don't forget to take a look at some of the other stops on the blog tour for this!