Friday, 15 December 2017

[article] End of Year, Finish the Books!

End of Year, Finish the Books!

Or, Impending Sense of Doom as You Realise You Never Did the Things You Wanted To

As the year draws to a close we always think of the things we haven't done rather the things that we have. I'm no exception. Whilst my reading year has been pretty damn awesome - I've read 170 books this year, absolutely smashing my previous record - they're are a number of books that I've meant to read all year, but never got around to.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen #3), Emily R. King

"I am born of the stars, and I will see them shine again"
Despite the odds, Kalinda has survived it all: Marriage to a tyrant. Tournaments to the death. The forbidden power to rule fire. The icy touch of a demon. That same demon now disguises itself as Rajah Tarek, Kalinda’s late husband and a man who has never stopped haunting her. Upon taking control of the palace and the army, the demon brands Kalinda and her companions as traitors to the empire. They flee across the sea, seeking haven in the Southern Isles.

In Lestari, Kalinda’s powers are not condemned, as they are in her land. To take back the empire, Kalinda will ally with those she distrusts—and risk losing those most loyal to her—to defeat the demon and bring peace to a divided nation.

* * 
2 / 5 

The Rogue Queen does better than the second book; it has moved beyond the "tournament" style plotline of the first two books and tries to tackle a more "epic war" plotline between three opposing forces: Kalinda and her allies, the demon disguised as Rajah Tarek, and the bhuta rebels. I didn't find it particularly interesting, but the pacing, characters, and writing are all generally better than in The Fire Queen. 

Sunday, 10 December 2017

[article] Christmas Books

Christmas tiiiime, mistletoe and boooooks

Christmas Books

Or, Cold Makes Me Want To Curl Up With A Good Book

Now, this article isn't quite what you think it's gonna be. I was going to talk about my favourite novels that prominently feature Christmas in them, but being mainly a devourer of fantasy and sci-fi novels, such a list would go:

  • The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis

Hmm. That wouldn't be a very long article! Whilst I do thoroughly recommend the entire Narnia series (if you haven't read it, you definitely should!), that's not exactly article material. So instead, I'm going to write about books I love to read around Christmas, or books that I associate with Christmas. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen #2), Emily R. King

"I made myself a champion. I won't make the same mistake twice"
Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over.  Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, imprisoned for treason and stripped of command. With the empire at war, their best hope is to find Prince Ashwin, the rajah’s son, who has promised Deven’s freedom on one condition: that Kalinda will fight and defeat three formidable opponents.

With both the responsibility to protect her people and the fate of those she loves weighing heavily upon her, Kalinda is forced again to compete. She must test the limits of her fire powers and her hard-won wisdom. But will that be enough to unite the empire without sacrificing all she holds dear?

1 / 5

Without being facetious, the best thing about this book is the cover. It's lovely! Everything else ... meh. I felt the same way after finishing this book as I did after finishing Frostblood: like I've just read several hundred pages where, technically, lots of stuff is going on, but I just didn't care about any of it and now feel a bit weird. I had virtually zero emotional reaction to anything in this book, which is weird and unfortunate because I rather enjoyed The Hundredth Queen. 

Monday, 4 December 2017

Ruined (Ruined #1), Amy Tintera

“I certainly have never had to pretend to be weak. But your mother is right. There's a benefit to being underestimated.”
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. To find Olivia, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

* * *
3 / 5 

Ruined has a lot of classic fantasy tropes: warrior girl, dead parents, sisterly love, revenge plot, oppressed magical people, enemies to friends to maybe-lovers; the list goes on. This isn't necessarily bad, in fact Ruined was quite a fun read, but it's certainly nothing new. It's got some decent writing, a decent main character, and some moral nuances, but most importantly, lots of stabbing. It's definitely a better book than the synopsis suggests...

Friday, 1 December 2017

[article] November Round-Up

So I finally read a Ryan Graudin book - just not the one I've owned for a year...

November Round Up

Despite my claim last month, November has become the month where I have read the least books this year! This month I have read a grand total of five books + around forty articles for my philosophy coursework. The good news is that I absolutely smashed the coursework, so now I can get back into a set of a good books. But besides being busy, I've also just been in a general book slump - at the moment I am slogging my way through The Rogue Queen, the last book in The Hundredth Queen trilogy by Emily King, and it's taking me a while - and so I've been channeling lots of my usual reading time into running.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Autoboyography, Christina Lauren

His smile ruins me
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. When his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him. 

* * * * 
4 / 5 

A sweet and heartbreaking gay romance novel with a cleve titular pun, Autoboyography delves into two things quite unfamiliar to me: rural America and the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, the most prominent branch of Mormonism.