TTT: Winter TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of book, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.This weeks topic is your Winter TBR. Basically the books you want to read this winter. I could just say all the books currently sitting unread on my bookshelf, but then that will definitely be more then 10. Anyway, lets get started.

 

 
That’s it for today. We’ll see if I actually stick to this TBR because I haven’t been that great at sticking to my TBR this year. I just read what I want at the time. Have you guys read any of these books? I’d love to know what books you think I should prioritise. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

Pippa

Skyward / Brandon Sanderson

Title / Skyward
Author / Brandon Sanderson
Publication Date / October 2018
Series or standalone / Skyward trilogy
Page no. / 528
Overall Rating / ★★★.5

*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

Goodreads synopsis: Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul

 

This is the first book in a new YA science fiction trilogy. Before reading this I had read 11 books by Brandon Sanderson, so it is safe to say that I am a fan of his writing, although I wasn’t a fan of the start of his other YA series, The Reckoners. I thought this was a solid introduction to this world and characters. What I enjoyed most about this book was the setting. Humanity is trapped on a planet called Detritus. While most people live underground in caverns, some cities remain above ground. Attacks from the Krell, a mysterious alien race, are almost constant and humanity must train up young people as pilots to maintain the fight against them. Their training in the flight school takes up large part of this story. From the beginning I was immersed in this world and thought it was one of the main strengths of this book. I haven’t read a lot of science fiction this year so it was great to be back in a space setting.
 
Sanderson has once again created a vivid and complex world with an interesting history to it. I never felt bogged down by the information and there wasn’t any info-dumping. Information about the world is slowly released throughout the 528 pages at a pace that keeps you hooked. One final thing that did frustrate me a little was the constant talk of bravery and cowardice. In this world pilots that eject after being shot down are called cowards and, rather stupidly in my opinion, are not allowed to fly unless reserves are needed. Firstly that is not cowardice and secondly, surely you need all the pilots you’ve got? The idea of the defect is also kind of absurd to me. While these elements did detract from my overall reading experience, I did still really enjoy this book.

 

 While I thought the characters were well written overall, I did have a few issues with them. First of all, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the main character, Spensa. She is immature, very quick to anger and kind of aggressive. I found her to be quite a frustrating character, although she did get a little better toward the end of the book. The other characters are well written, if a little underdeveloped. All of the characters are quite formulaic in terms of the YA genre. Despite the issues I had I did become invested in them and Sanderson did a great job at developing the relationships between the characters. This is uses a first person narrative which works well with the story, although I think I would have liked some other perspective to get a wider look into this world.

 

Skyward contains a fast-paced and entertaining story that is easy to get into. The plot is a little shallow to begin with, to allow you to get used to the world and the characters but it does pick up later on in the book. Some of the flight school and battle sequences did get a little repetitive at times. Having said that, I did really enjoy this book while reading it. 

 

Overall I thought this was a great introduction to this new YA trilogy, although I am coming to the conclusion that I prefer Sanderson’s adult books. Right now I’m undecided on whether or not I’ll continue with this trilogy – I’ll probably decide closer to the release of the sequel. Have you guys read this book? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time. 

 

 

Pippa

 

 

 

November Wrap Up

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of another month which means it’s time for another monthly wrap up of all the books I’ve read. I thought I hadn’t read much this month but I actually still read 5 books. I’m pretty pleased with that, considering I wasn’t reading a whole lot in November. I’m excited we are now almost in December and I can start getting ready for Christmas. It’s my favourite time of the year but I don’t start getting excited until it’s December. What about you guys? I’d love to know whether you start early or don’t start getting ready/excited until December. Anyway, let’s get started with my wrap up.

 

The Silence of the Girls / Pat Barker / ★★★.5

This book is inspired by Homer’s The Illiad, but from the perspective of the women, in particular a young woman called Briseis. The first thing I want to mention is that this book is brutal – it does not pull any punches, so trigger warnings for rape, slavery and violence. Barker has done a fantastic job at portraying this gritty and dark world these women have to survive in. As I mentioned, this book is quite brutal at times, so it’s not an easy read in that sense. I liked the writing style and although quite slow at times the pacing worked well with the story. Overall I thought this book was great and I would highly recommend checking it out, especially if you are interested in Greek mythology.

 

Skyward / Brandon Sanderson / ★★★.5
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This is the first book in a YA science fiction trilogy. I’ve enjoyed a lot of Sanderson’s other books so I was interested to check out this new release. For the most part I really enjoyed this book, but I did have a few issues with the characters. I found Spensa, the main character, to be a pretty frustrating character. I get that she’s young but she is just so immature, aggressive, very quick to anger and doesn’t really seem to think things through. She did get a better towards the end of the book though. Other than that, I thought a few of the secondary characters were a little underdeveloped. I loved the setting of the flight school and I thought the battle scenes were well done. Overall I enjoyed this book but I’m currently undecided whether I’ll continue on with this trilogy. I will have a full review up soon.

 

The Consuming Fire / John Scalzi / ★★★.5
This is the second book in the Interdependency series. I thought this was a great instalment, although it did take me a couple of chapters to get back into the flow of the story. I think I probably should have reread the first book before reading this one, but I didn’t. Like book 1, this sequel was super enjoyable to read with well written characters and an interesting world. If you enjoy Scalzi’s books, then you will like this one too. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next book in this series. 

 

This is the seventh book in the Shardlake series. I will have a full review of this book next week, so I’m going to keep this short. I thought this was a fantastic instalment to this series and it was great to be back with these characters. If you enjoy historical fiction mixed with mysteries then you should definitely check these books out.

 

 

I am currently reading The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden, which is the third book in the Winternight trilogy. I loved the first two books so I have high hopes for this conclusion. After finishing that, I would love to start The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Other books I’d like to get to include The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Monstress: Vol 2 by Marjorie M. Liu, Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault and Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames. 
 
That’s it for today. Have you guys read any of these books? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Chronicles of the Fallers / Peter F. Hamilton

Title / The Abyss Beyond Dreams and Night Without Stars
Author / Peter F. Hamilton
Publication Date / 2014 and 2016
Genre / Science fiction
Series or standalone / Duology
Page no. / 688 and 750
Overall Rating / ★★★★

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Goodreads synopsis of book 1: The year is 3326. Nigel Sheldon, one of the founders of the Commonwealth, receives a visit from the Raiel—self-appointed guardians of the Void, the enigmatic construct at the core of the galaxy that threatens the existence of all that lives. The Raiel convince Nigel to participate in a desperate scheme to infiltrate the Void. Once inside, Nigel discovers that humans are not the only life-forms to have been sucked into the Void, where the laws of physics are subtly different and mental powers indistinguishable from magic are commonplace. The humans trapped there are afflicted by an alien species of biological mimics—the Fallers—that are intelligent but merciless killers. Yet these same aliens may hold the key to destroying the threat of the Void forever—if Nigel can uncover their secrets. As the Fallers’ relentless attacks continue, and the fragile human society splinters into civil war, Nigel must uncover the secrets of the Fallers—before he is killed by the very people he has come to save.

This is the latest series set in the Commonwealth universe. I hadn’t read any of his previous books before reading these two, but I didn’t have too many issues in becoming immersed in this world. There may have been things I missed, but I didn’t find that this detracted from the story. I think this is great for both readers familiar with this universe and new readers. Hamilton gives enough background to allow readers who are new to the Commonwealth to easily become immersed in this world. I have to admit about being a little intimidated by the size of this books, especially because I was new to this world, but it turned out to be completely fine. I really enjoyed this universe, but as I mentioned I will have missed some of the world building because I haven’t read the other books set in this universe. It wasn’t bogged down by all the information, so I never felt that it dragged in terms of the world building. Overall I thought the world building in these two books were well done and I loved learning about it throughout the books.

 

Both books are over 600 pages each, but for the most part the plot is tightly paced and compelling. As I hadn’t read anything else by this author, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I started this and I ended up really enjoying both these books. While I did enjoy the plot, there were sections that were quite slow and I hate to say a little boring. Most of the time though I couldn’t put these books down. I think, with a book this size, it’s hard to keep it compelling all the way through, while also introducing the world and characters. Hamilton does a fantastic job at tying all the threads of the plot together. There is a lot going on in this duology and the author manages to keep each thread engaging. In terms of the characters, I thought they were all well written and liked their character development through the two books. It did take me a little while to warm to the characters, but after a while I was invested in them. I will say that these books suffer a little with pacing issues and I think some will find that they drag a lot, but I didn’t have that issue. I thought the ending was great

 

Overall I really enjoyed both of these books and I plan to read more books set in this universe. It is probably best that you read the other books in this world as it will give you a wider understanding, but I still enjoyed reading these books. Have you read this duology? I’d love to know what you thought. I’m sorry this review is short, but I have to admit that I’m slowly getting back into the flow of review writing. It’s been a while and I haven’t settled back into the flow yet, so apologises if this review isn’t very good. I tried my best :).  I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

TTT: Favourite Quotes

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.This weeks topic is favourite quotes. I love sharing my favourite quotes and I’ve already done 3 posts about some – you can them out here, here and here. For this post I’ve come up with 8 new quotes to share with you guys. Let’s get started.

 

  • “Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.” The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
  • “History is the long shadow cast by the past upon the future. Shadows, by nature, lack details.” The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
  • “Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it.” The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
  • “Stand aside, and try not to catch fire if I shed sparks of genius.” The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
  • “Learn everything. Fill your mind with knowledge—it’s the only kind of power no one can take away from you.” Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • “Sometimes when she told stories about the past her eyes would get teary from all the memories she had, but they weren’t tears. She wasn’t crying. They were just the memories, leaking out.” A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • “Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.” Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • “Remember, the past need not become our future as well.” Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

 

What are some of your favourite quotes? I think I need to start writing down some of my favourite quotes from the books I read as I’m reading them, instead of trying to remember them later on. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Places I Want To Visit

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I am going to do a non bookish post, as you can probably tell from the title. I wanted to share some of the places that I would love to visit. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair bit through my life but there are quite a few places I really want to visit but haven’t yet. To be honest I’m an anxious traveller (or just person really) but I still love visiting new places. Let’s get started.

 

Places I’ve never been to:
  • China
  • Japan
  • San Francisco and Washington, USA
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Croatia

 

Places to revisit:
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Prague, Czech Republic

 

Hopefully I’ll slowly become more confidant with travelling as I do it more. Where do you guys want to go? Or where is your favourite place you’ve been? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

T5W: Books You Read Because of Blogging

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 books you’ve read because of blogging. I’ve been blogging for just over a year and a half now which is kind of crazy. Anyway these are books that I’ve read because they were recommended to me or because I saw them floating around the bookish community.

That is all I have for today. There are definitely plenty of books that I see floating around the bookish community that I’m intrigued by, although I am always a bit wary of hype. What book have you read because of blogging? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa