5 reasons to read the Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for another 5 reasons to read style review. As you can see from the title I am going to be talking about The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, which is a part of the Canongate Myth series where modern writers rewrite ancient myths. I really enjoyed this book so I wanted to share this style of review with you guys. Let’s get started.

 

  1. If you are interested in Greek mythology and enjoy books about them, then you need to check this book out. It is a take on the tale of Odyssey but from the perspective of his wife, Penelope.
  2. Atwood has written Penelope so well and it so interesting to see this well known story from her perspective. She is such an interesting character and is wonderfully written. All of the characters are well written.
  3. The writing is fantastic and it is easy to become immersed in this story, despite it’s short length.
  4. If you are a fan of Margaret Atwood, then you should definitely check this book out.
  5. I think if you are new to this author, this could be a great place to start to get a feel for her writing style.

 

I’ve still only read two books by Atwood but I want to read more. I currently have The Blind Assassin sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read but I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I plan to read it this year though. I definitely want to read more from Atwood. Have you read any books by Margaret Atwood? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

6 Sequels I Can’t Wait For

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. To be honest with you guys, I was running low on post ideas and all I could come up with was coming up with some sequels I can’t wait for. Posting 3 times a week is tricky when you’re running low on ideas :). Anyway these are five books that currently don’t have a release date (I think) but I am hoping they will be released sooner rather then later. Let’s get started.

 

  1. The Secret Commonwealth / book 2 of the Book of Dust series / Philip Pullman
  2. Untitled / book 3 of the Dandelion Dynasty trilogy / Ken Liu
  3. Nightblood / book 2 of the Warbreaker series / Brandon Sanderson
  4. The Thorn of Emberlain / book 4 of the Gentleman Bastard series / Scott Lynch
  5. Doors of Stone / book 3 of the Kingkiller Chronicle / Patrick Rothfuss
  6. The Mirror and the Light / book 3 of the Cromwell trilogy / Hilary Mantel

 

Are you waiting for any of these books too? I think the book I am most excited for would be the third and final book in the Dandelion Dynasty trilogy. Hopefully we’ll get an idea of a release date for these books soon. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

It’s Monday… What are you reading?

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

 

So I am currently reading two books. The first book is Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds, which a sci-fi crime story. I got a digital copy from Netgalley. I didn’t realise when I requested it that it is actually the second book in the series, but so far I’m still enjoying it.  I have also just started Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart, which is a murder mystery set in China in the 1700’s. I’m only a couple of chapters in so far but I am hoping to love it. Once I’ve finished them, I am thinking of picking up The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while now and I think it’s about time I gave it a go. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it so I’m looking forward to seeing what I think of it.
What are you guys currently reading? Hopefully I can finish all of these books before the end of the month and then I can move onto the other books on my TBR. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Death’s Mistress / Terry Goodkind

Title / Death’s Mistress
Author / Terry Goodkind
Publication Date / 2017
Series or standalone / Book 1 of the Nicci Chronicles
Overall Star Rating / 

 

This is the first book in the Sister of Darkness: the Nicci Chronicles series. It is a new series following a character already established in his previous books, the Sword of Truth series. I am unsure the length this series will be but so far there are two books released. Although reading the previous series may give you a deeper understanding of things, it is not necessary to have read them.
In terms of the fantasy genre, this is very much a traditional quest storyline and the plot is quite simplistic in that way. At the start of the books Nicci and Nathan, two already established characters, are given a task and the rest of the book is focused on completely that task. Despite this, I found it be a compelling plot and once I started reading I didn’t want to put the book down. However, I will say that the beginning may be a little tricky to get into. It was clear that since I haven’t read the Sword of Truth series that I was missing a lot of history, so it took a little while to piece everything together and have a vague understanding of that history. However, I think the author did a good job at giving enough information to understand without bogging it down with info dumping. Obviously, there are spoilers for the Sword of Truth series in this book.  Once they set out on their quest it did get easier to follow. In many ways I think Goodkind tried to make this book as accessible as possible. There is a simple task to overcome with no deeper context or conflict they must overcome. In this way I think this is a great introduction to this series and a good way to reintroduce readers who are already familiar with the world. In a way the plot is almost episodic in nature as the characters go from one task to another, however this may lead to a rather repetitive sequence of events for some. As the plot does follow the same path a few times but I had no issues with this repetition. For me, the result is an enjoyable and compelling introduction to this new series. The pacing is good throughout which meant it was quite a quick read for me, despite being over 500 pages long. There are also some great actions scenes in this book. I look forward to seeing how things progress in the next book.
The characters were, at times, a little mixed for me. Although I thought the character development throughout the book was great, I felt that a little depth of character was lacking at times. Initially I wasn’t sure how it would work with well established characters, being a new reader to this world, but I think the author did a good job at introducing these characters and world to new readers. However, I felt at certain points that the author could have expanded the characters inner thoughts, especially Nicci. This is only a small issue though, as I did think that the character development in this book was generally good. Obviously, I can’t comment on how consistent the already established characters are in terms of how they are written in this series and the previous one. All I can say is that I enjoyed their characterisation in this book and I think Nicci is a fantastic female protagonist. In terms of the world, I think this was a weakness of this book. I think the author focused mainly on the storyline and characters and so sacrificed some world building. There is a vague understanding of the world, but I wanted more from it. I wanted more history and some politics of this world and how this affects the characters. This didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment while reading though because I still found myself immersed in the world and the story. I am interested to see more of this world in the sequels to this book.
Overall, I am very glad that I picked this book up. I thought it was a fantastic introduction to this new series and it did a good job at introducing this world to new readers. It has well written characters, a compelling plot and good writing. The second book in this series, Shroud of Eternity, came out January 11th and I will be checking it out as this sequel is one of my most anticipated releases of this year. I also have the first book of the Sword of Truth series on my TBR so I’m interested to see what I think of it.  If you have been reading a lot of traditional fantasy quest stories and are perhaps a little bored with it, then I wouldn’t recommend this book, as it doesn’t really do anything new within the genre. However, if you are just looking for a new, enjoyable and engaging fantasy story then I would recommend checking it out. Have you read this book? What did you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Cover Wars Wednesday

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would try something a little different and take part in the weekly bookish meme, cover wars Wednesday (created by Book is Glee). Basically I am going to be comparing the different covers of one book and I thought what better book to use then my first five star read of this year, Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay. I loved this book so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share it with you guys.
I’m not a fan of the cover on the left, but I really like the two others. The paperback I own has the cover in the middle, which is probably my favourite. There’s something about people on the cover that never works for me. I think the other two work better in terms of the book itself too, if that makes sense. They give a better feel of what the book is.
The German edition is definitely my favourite – it looks amazing. I think I like it even more than the English edition. The Italian and French editions are similar to the middle English edition. I’m not a big fan of the Spanish edition but it’s not too bad. It’s so interesting to see all the different cover designs, whether it’s just different editions or different countries. I think all of these covers are great in their own way.

 

Anyway my favourites are definitely the middle English one and the German edition. Which one do you like best? I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Seriously it was so good. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

How I Review Books

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would talk about my reviewing process. On Tuesday 15th February I will have been posting on this blog for two years, which means two years of new reviews every Friday. I thought it might be interesting to you guys to see how I review books.
I don’t really have a set way to choose what books I review. Generally it is books that I have loved and want to share with you guys, or something that didn’t quite work for me and I want you guys to know why. Or it’s a book that I’ve received an ARC and want to post a review close to the release date. Sometimes there are books that I just have more thoughts to share with you guys. Basically I just review the books I feel like reviewing. Sometimes I know going into a book that I am going to review it, other times it’s only till I’ve finished it that I decided to want to review it. I can then make notes while I’m reading of anything I want to mention in a review or a quote that I particularly like. To be completely honest I don’t always make notes while I’m reading, because I’m just enjoying the book and forget to make notes. Sometimes I will make the notes soon after finishing the book. I will make notes on things like my thoughts on the writing, world building, characters and so on.
For a lot of my reviews I like to write them in advanced of posting them. I like to take plenty of time to draft my review and then start to go over it again. I don’t work that well under pressure so I will never write a review the day before posting it. That is just not how I work. If I’m feeling a little uninspired I quite like to go on goodreads and read some reviews of the book – I find that this can sometimes help me to organise my own thoughts for a review. Obviously don’t copy things for other peoples reviews but I think it can be a good source of inspiration. I don’t always do this; just when I’m having a little trouble organising my thoughts. Once I’ve written the review I will spend some time going over it and improving any sections I can. Sometimes it is good for me to just type down whatever I’m thinking and then go over it to make sure that I wasn’t just rambling on. Once I’m finished I will add in the links to my affiliate pages (e.g. Waterstones) and add in the photos of the books. If I have read the book on my kindle then I will add in the cover photos, which I source from goodreads. Otherwise I will take a photo using my lovely marble background. I have a list of all the reviews I’ve done, whether its’s a full review or mini reviews, so I won’t write a duplicate review.
I can’t quite believe that I’ve been doing this for almost 2 years now. I hope you guys aren’t getting bored of me :). The way I review hasn’t really changed since I started blogging, but I like to think that my reviews have improved. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

January Wrap Up and February TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for my first wrap up of the year. I read 7 books this month, one of which is my first 5 star read of the year. I started this year off with some fantastic books. I can’t believe that in a few weeks I will have been blogging for two years. It’s gone by pretty fast. Anyway let’s get started with my mini reviews.

 

Spiderlight / Adrian Tchaikovsky / ★★★
Although I kind of got the feeling that this started off in the middle of a story, I thought this was a great book. The story starts off very quickly and I almost felt that it was missing part of the story, but after the first chapter I had settled into the flow of the plot. This is a classic fantasy quest story, where the characters are given a task and we follow them as the complete said task. The characters were well written, the plot was engaging and the writing was easy to get into, although the dialogue can be a little clunky. Overall a good book that was a quick and entertaining read.

 

Dune: Messiah / Frank Herbert / ★★★
I definitely didn’t love this as much as the first book, Dune, but it was still a good book. I enjoyed being back in this world. As with Dune this book was a little dated but I found it easy to get into the flow of the story and the plot was engaging. This sequel just didn’t captivate me like the first book did. Overall I’m glad I read it and I thought it was a good book, but I didn’t love it as much as Dune.

 

Black Wolves / Kate Elliott / book 1 of Black Wolves series / ★★★
This one was a bit mixed for me. There were some things that I really enjoyed and other things that just didn’t work for me. Firstly, I think the setting was great and I really like the idea of the reeves. The politics and intrigue throughout the book was good. There are some really interesting characters in this book, although keeping track of all the characters was initially a bit confusing. The time jump at the beginning of the book threw me a little but after a few chapters I adjusted to it. Another issue I had was that I felt that it was too long. There were a few scenes that seemed unnecessary and it bogged down the narrative. It sometimes felt like there was too much going on and it needed some focus. The pacing was a little uneven at times too. It took me quite some time to get invested in this book; it wasn’t until over 200 pages in that I felt that I had finally started to get into it. Overall this was a good introduction to this series but I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. At the moment I am planning to continue with this series.

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / Stieg Larsson / book 1 in the Millennium trilogy / ★★★★
I’ve been to start this series for a while now and I finally decided to pick it up this month. I thought it was fantastic. It is definitely quite a dark and disturbing book but the plot is so compelling and the atmosphere of suspense is so well done. The characters are wonderfully complex and flawed, and although this author is new to me I found it easy to get into the flow of the writing. The mystery elements were also really well done and I was constantly wondering how it was going to unfold. As I’ve said, I thought this was a fantastic book and I will definitely be continuing on with this trilogy.

 

Pachinko / Min Jin Lee / ★★★★
Not only did I find this to be a fantastic book, but it was also very interesting. I don’t know a lot about the history of this area of the world so it was fascinating to me to read about it. Although I can sometimes find shifts in time a little jarring, I didn’t really have that issue with this book. It may be something to be aware of though, as most chapters will move forward at least a couple of years. The characters are all very well written, but the wide span of years means that you never really feel fully attached to any of them. Personally I didn’t mind this, because I thought the backdrop was so interesting and the characters are all still complex and flawed. I thought the writing was great and I found it so easy to become immersed in the story. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend checking this book out, especially if you enjoy historical fiction.

 

The Bitter Twins / Jen Williams / book 2 of the Winnowing Flame trilogy / ★★★★
This is one of my most anticipated book releases of this year and I am happy to say it does not disappoint. I thought this was a fantastic sequel and it was great to be back in this world. I probably should have reread the first book before reading this as I was a little foggy on the details, but after a couple of chapters I was fully immersed in the world again. As with the first book, the writing is great, the story is compelling and the characters are well written. I will have a full review closer to the release date so keep an eye out for that.

 

Under Heaven / Guy Gavriel Kay / ★★★★★
I’ve had my eye on this book for a while now and I am so happy that I finally picked this up. As you can see from the rating this is my first five star book of the year. I thought it was fantastic. The plot is compelling, the writing is great and the world building is so well done. From the very beginning I was immersed in the characters and the world. The politics and intrigue in this book are fantastic. I personally love fantasy with intrigue and it is one of the strengths of this book. You never really know where peoples loyalties lie and so you are constantly wondering what each character will do next. Basically I absolutely loved this book and I would highly recommend checking it out. I will definitely be reading more by this author. I am planning to write a full review of this one too.

 

I’ve not really thought about what I want to read next so I don’t have a set TBR for February. I’m just going to read what I feel like at the time. I am currently reading Sovereign by C. J. Sansom, which is the third book in the Cromwell series. My favourite book of the month was definitely Under Heaven. What was the best book you read in January? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa