Totally Should’ve Book Tag

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I figured I haven’t done a book tag in a while so that’s what I’m doing today. I’m feeling abit uninspired at the moment and feeling like what I’m producing isn’t as good as I want it to be. I don’t know… I’m just having one of those times where I’m a bit unmotivated. If you have any post requests or advice on how to improve than I would love to know. Anyway, as you can tell from the title I am going to be doing the totally should’ve book tag, which was created by emmmabooks. Let’s get started.

 

Q1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel
The first book that comes to mind is Fudoki by Kij Johnson. Part of me would love to see more of Kagaya-hime but the other part wonders whether it should just be left a standalone… I don’t know. I do love this book so it would be amazing to have more of this world.

 

Q2. Totally should’ve had a spin off series
I have two answers for this one – the Echoes of the Fall series by Adrian Tchaikovsky and the Queens of Renthia trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst. I know both of these series are unfinished right now but I would love to see more from both of these worlds.

 

Q3. An author who totally should write more books
I would love to see more books coming from Robin Hobb. The huge Realm of the Elderlings series has just been concluded and so I would love to see a brand new world from her. I still have the last trilogy to read but after that I definitely hope to see new books from her. Otherwise I’ll just have to continually reread all her books :).

 

Q4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else
To be honest, I don’t think I really have an answer for this one.

 

5. Totally should’ve ended differently
For this I didn’t exactly want it to end differently I just wanted more time to be spent with the ending and that is Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. There’s quite a big build up in this book and the ending felt quite rushed, which was a little disappointing. It’s still a good ending but it could have been done a bit better.

 

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise
The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon would make a fantastic movie franchise. I would definitely go and see that film, so I have my fingers crossed that it will happen :). Hopefully it would be done well.

 

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show
Maybe the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan. I think that could be a really fun TV show and I would love to see the relationship between Royce and Hadrian come to life. I would definitely watch that show. Also I think the Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom would make quite a good TV show.

 

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view
The first thing that comes to mind is Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan, which is the second book in the Raven Shadow trilogy. The first book there is only one perspective but in the second there are multiple perspectives. I loved the first book but found the second a little disappointed and I can’t help but wonder whether it was due to this change. Having said that, it does give a wider look into the world so I don’t know if it would have worked as just one perspective.

 

9. Totally should have a cover change
Well I’m not the biggest fan of covers of the Other series by Anne Bishop. Typically I don’t like people on the cover and they all have a woman on the cover, so I definitely think they could do with a cover change.

 

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers
I don’t really have an answer for this one, but I would definitely say that the Penguin English Library editions should have stayed with the rubberised editions. They were so much nicer than the current finish of the editions.

 

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one
Again, I don’t have an answer for this one… Sorry.

 

That’s it for this tag. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Mini Review: 2 Series

 

Series title / Chronicles of Ancient Darkness
Title of book 1/ Wolf Brother
Author / Michelle Paver
No. of books / 6
Star Rating / ★★★
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: Thousands of years ago the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon: a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world. Only one boy can stop it—12 year old Torak, who has seen his father murdered by the bear. With his dying breath, Torak’s father tells his son of the burden that is his. He must lead the bear to the mountain of the World Spirit and beg that spirit’s help to overcome it.

 

This is probably one of my favourite all time series. It’s probably classed as middle grade. I say probably because I don’y really know what middle grade is as someone from the UK. I first read it years ago and I’ve reread quite a few times now. The first thing I love about this series is the setting. The author clearly did a whole lot of research for this series and it’s resulted in a wonderfully vivid world. The world building is one of the main strengths of this series. The characters are just as well written. Through the six books you really become invested in them, however I will say that their development could have been better. Wolf is, of course, one of my favourite characters. I will say that these are quite light fantasy reads, so if your looking for denser fantasy worlds than you probably won’t enjoy this one. Having said that these are great, fun reads. The plot is compelling throughout the six books, although perhaps a little simplistic. The pacing is also slightly off at times but it doesn’t detract too much from the overall reading experience. I was hooked very early on and I flew through each book pretty quickly. If you enjoy middle grade, than you definitely need to check out this series. Overall I think this is a great series with one of my favourite settings.

 

 

Series title / Bartimaeus series
Title of book 1 / The Amulet of Samarkand
Author / Jonathan Stroud
No. of books / 3
Star Rating / ★★★
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hot-shot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of his elders, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who’s boss. With revenge on his mind, he summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace’s greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.

 

I think this is such an underrated series as I haven’t seen it around the bookish community at all. This trilogy was actually one of the first I read and so I always will think it’s great. It has a compelling story, well written characters and good writing. The world building is also great. If you are looking for a fast-paced, entertaining adventure than you should definitely check these books out. I will say that this book does rely on footnotes to give more information so if that’s not your thing than you may want to avoid this book. I personally find that they worked quite well and add a better understanding of the world and characters – it never felt bogged down. One of my favourite things about this book is Bartimaeus. He is so snarky and it’s amazing. The relationship between Nathaniel and Bartimaeus is great and the development throughout the three books is a pleasure to read. Nathaniel can be kind of irritating at times but I was still invested in his character. I will say that I think this trilogy is aimed at younger readers but it can still be enjoyed by a variety of ages. To me these are quick, fun reads that I’ve really enjoyed reading on multiple occasions. There is also a prequel (The Ring of Soloman) which is also great.

 

Both of these series are great so I thought it was about time to review and recommend them to you guys. My favourite of the two is probably the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series but I love both. Have you guys read either of these? What did you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

T5W: Favourite Creepy Settings

Top 5 Wednesday was originally created and run by Lainey aka gingerreadslainey (Youtube channel) but it is now being run by Sam aka Thoughts on tomes (Youtube channel). Each week there is a different topic. You can check out the groups Goodreads page here for any more information and the future topics. This week’s topic is favourite creepy settings. I only have four books to share today, because I clearly don’t read that many creepy books :). The four that I’ve chosen though have done creepy settings/atmospheres very well.Let’s get started.
Although I’m not one for horror, I do enjoy a good creepy setting. Maybe not to read at night though :). Do you guys have any favourite creepy settings? 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!

 

I have to admit that I haven’t read alot at all so far this month. I think partly because I’m not in the best head space right now so I don’t have the motivation to read. I have started two books though and I hope to get into a reading mood soon. The two books I’m currently reading are 1984 by George Orwell and Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny, which is the third and final book in the Empire trilogy. I am so excited to see how this trilogy concludes and I’ve been meaning to read 1984 for a while now.

 

I’m sorry that this is such a short post but I don’t have a lot to say really. I hope that’s okay with you guys – I don’t want to disappoint anyone with my blog. Anyway what are you guys currently reading? I’d love to know. I hope you are all having wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

The Tiger’s Daughter / K. Arsenault Rivera

Title / The Tiger’s Daughter
Author / K. Arsenault Rivera
Publication Date / 2017
Page no. / 512
Series or standalone / Their Bright Ascendancy book 1
Overall Star Rating / 

29760778

Goodreads synopsis: The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests. Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons. This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

 

This was one of my most anticipated books of this year and I’m sad to say I was disappointed by it. Firstly I think it is fantastic that this is a lesbian romance as it’s something that I haven’t seen a lot of in the fantasy genre, especially with the main characters. However for me I found this too romance heavy. When it becomes the driving force behind the plot, I’m just not that interested. I swear every few pages one of the main characters was expressing her love for the other and I just couldn’t – we get it, please stop. As you can probably tell I found that kind of annoying. The plot had so much potential but I felt that it was a little overshadowed by the romance, which really didn’t work for me.  The fact that I didn’t really care about the characters didn’t help with the romance. To me the two main characters were kind of unlikealbe and I just didn’t care about them. I found that the characters were underdeveloped and flat, which hindered my ability to connect with any of them. The main issue I had with this though is the narrative style. The majority of the story is told through a letter from one of the main characters to the other. First off it’s very clearly a way to info dump as Shefali (main character) is writing to Shizuka (other main character) about things they both witnessed. Why would you write a letter to tell someone about something they experienced? It just doesn’t make any sense to me, unless it’s just there to info dump. I think it would also take the record for longest letter ever – it seemed like it was never going to end. It dragged quite a lot and at times I didn’t really know what was going on. The writing itself is good but again something about it didn’t work for me. I think at times it was quite drawn out – the slow pacing doesn’t help with this either. Consequently I struggled to get invested in this book.  Apart from the narrative style, it was also the plot that let it down. It felt kind of aimless to me and so drawn out, especially the first half the book. The plot did improve in the second half but by then I didn’t particularly care. The premise made it seem like it was going to be action packed with maybe a bit of politics but instead we basically get a very long love letter. That is not what I signed up for. In terms of world building and magic system, I can’t really tell you much as it was pretty vague. These are mostly just personal preference though. One thing I feel I should mention is the appropriation of Japanese, Chinese and Mongolian cultures. I think it’s important to be aware of these things when reading books. For more information about this, please read this review by a Japanese woman who can speak on these issues with authority.

 

Overall this one just really didn’t work for me. It definitely had a lot of potential but personally I felt a little disappointed by it. To me this felt more of an epic romance than epic fantasy. I seem to be in the minority on this one though as I’ve seen a lot of great reviews on Goodreads. Have you read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday…

Hi guys, so today I’m sharing another waiting on Wednesday post, but this time I’ve got more than one book to talk about. There are quite a few exciting releases coming out in October so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share them with you guys. I know I normally only talk about one book in these posts but I’m doing things a bit differently for this one. Anyway let’s talk about the six books that I am waiting for.
Shadowblack / Sebastien de Castell / October 5th
A Shiver of Snow and Sky / Lisa Lueddecke / October 5th
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns / Julie C. Dao / October 10th
The Stone in the Skull / Elizabeth Bear / October 17th
The Bloodprint / Ausma Zehanat Khan / October 19th
La Belle Sauvage / Philip Pullman / October 19th

 

I’m very much looking forward to checking out these books when they come out. Although I do have a bit of a habit of getting excited about books and then not getting to them for months, so we’ll see what happens :). Have you guys got any anticipated releases coming in October? In non bookish news I am also super excited for the release of the new Assassin’s Creed game which comes out this month too. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Favourite First Lines

Hi guys, how are you? I am pretty happy that we are a fair way into the cooler months now. I am definitely more of a autumn/winter person. Anyway today I thought I’d talk about some of my favourite first lines. I think first lines can really draw you into a book, so I’ve come up with a few that I think are great and set up the book really well. Let’s get started.

 

“It is said, in Imardin, that the wind has a soul, and that it wails through the narrow streets because it is grieved by what it finds there.”
The Magician’s Guild / Trudi Canavan

 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Pride and Prejudice / Jane Austen

 

“It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.”
The Name of the Wind / Patrick Rothfuss

 

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
The Hobbit / J R. R. Tolkien

 

I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time
The Shadow of the Wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 

It actually took me a while to come up with these as I’ve probably forgotten the first line by the time I’ve finished the book :). I think first lines are a great way to pull the reader in though. Do you guys have any favourites? I’d also be interested in know if you’re autumn/winter people or summer/spring people… I also just want to quickly apologise for not responding to comments for a while – I’m not in the best mental space right now so please bear with me. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa