T5W: Favourite Underrated Books

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 a freebie week, so I choose to talk about my favourite underrated books. All of these books have under 1,000 ratings on Goodreads but they deserve way more. I really enjoyed all of these books and would highly recommend checking them out. Let’s get started.

 

 

That’s it for today. These are five fantastic books that I’ve read this year and think that they deserve more love. Have you read any of these books? What are some of your favourite underrated books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Book Haul

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I’d share some new books, because I have no self restraint when it comes to getting more books :). These are books I’ve picked up over the last couple of months. I’ve split it into two sections: books from Netgalley and books I’ve bought. I’m excited about all of these books so let’s get started.

 

 

Netgalley:

 

Books I’ve Bought:
  • Queen of Sorrow / book 3 of the Queens of Renthia trilogy / Sarah Beth Durst
  • Malice / book 1 of the Fallen series / John Gywnne

 

That’s all I have for today. I’m excited to get to all of these books, although the size of Vanity Fair is a little intimidating. Have you 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

 

 

 

Mistborn trilogy / Brandon Sanderson

Title / The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages
Author / Brandon Sanderson
Publication Date / 2009 and 2010
Genre / Fantasy
Series or standalone / Trilogy
Page no. / 672, 800 and 768
Overall Rating / ★★★★
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more? In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

 

This is a trilogy set in a world where the bad guy won the war and has been ruling over the Final Empire for thousand of years. I loved this concept as it’s not something I see very often in fantasy. There are two main things I love about this trilogy; the world and the magic system, specifically Allomancy. The Final Empire is a region of Scadrial, a fictional planet of the Cosmere, and it is blanketed by ash. In this world plants are brown and people rarely see the sky. Throughout the three books, Sanderson does a fantastic job at building on what we already know of world. I will say that the physical description of the world are sometimes a little lacking, but overall the world building is fantastic. Next, there are three disciplines of magic in this trilogy: Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hemalugy. All three are based on metals and are used to gain specific abilities. Basically allomancers have the ability to burn metal that enables them to access a range of mental or physical enhancements. For example burning tin enables an enhancement of the five senses while burning pewter enhances physical strength. There are 8 basic Allomantic metals and each has a different affect on the allomancer. A Misting is a person who can burn one metal and a Mistborn is a person who can burn all of them. I love this magic system and the author does a fantastic job at developing it through the three books. Both of these aspects are vividly realised and well written. Be aware that the world and magic systems are quite complex and intricate, so don’t go into this expecting a light, quick read. Sanderson does a great job at writing battle scenes and political intrigue.  If you enjoy unique magic systems and world then I highly recommend checking this book out. More positives include the characters and the plot. Yes, I think at times the plot is a little predictable at times but I still enjoyed seeing how it all unfolds and although some characters lack depth overall these books contain a great cast of characters. Vin is definitely one of my favourite characters. Personally I think the first book is the best, but I did also enjoy the second and third book. Each book has a good mix of character development, world building, action and politics.

 

Now to some of the issues I have. The main thing I would say is the length of these books. Each book is over 600 pages long but they didn’t need to be. The main reason for this is the repetitive nature of the writing. Although I love the world in this book the overly long descriptions and repetitive use of words can be a little frustrating at times. There are also plot points that are repeated throughout the books, for example in the first book you are told constantly that Vin doesn’t trust anyone. We get it – she’s had a hard time and doesn’t trust easily but we don’t need to be reminded every 5 seconds or so. I was definitely more aware of this use of repetition when I reread this trilogy. I think the pacing was a little uneven at times too, especially in the second and third book. One more small complaint is that I think the romance develops a little too quickly.

 

Overall I really enjoyed this trilogy, but there are definitely some issues with it. If you are a big fan of fantasy then I think this is well worth checking out. I’ve only read the first book of the sequel series and I don’t think I plan on continuing on with it. I went through a phase of trying to read everything by Sanderson but I think I’ve grown past that now. I think I got caught up in the hype surrounding this author but now I’m not the biggest fan of his writing style. Although I will definitely check out the sequel to Warbreaker whenever it gets released. Have you read this trilogy? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Most Anticipated Books: Aug-Dec

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Since we’re over halfway through the year, I thought I’d share some exciting books releases for the last part of this year. I’m sure I’ve probably missed some but I have 15 books that I am looking forward to. Let’s get started.

 

  • City of Ink / book 3 of the Li Du series / Elsa Hart / August 21st
  • Blood of the Gods / book 2 of the Ascension Cycle / David Mealing/ August 23rd
  • Foundryside / book 1 of the Founders / Robert Jackson Bennett / August 23rd / ★★
  • Salvation/ Peter F. Hamilton / September 9th
  • The Ember Blade / book 1 of the Ember Blade series / Chris Wooding / September 20th
  • Soulbinder / book 4 of the Spellslinger series / Sebastien de Castell / October 4th
  • Bridge of Clay / Markus Zusak / October 11th
  • Tombland / book 7 of the Shardlake series / C. J. Sansom / October 18th
  • Rejoice / Steven Erikson / October 18th
  • The Consuming Fire / book 2 of the Interdependency series / John Scalzi / October 18th
  • Empire of Sand / Tasha Suri / November 15th

 

 

That’s all for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed it. This will probably be the last anticipated books post for this year, unless I suddenly realise that I’ve missed a load :). What are you anticipating for the 2nd half of 2018? I’d love to know. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Wrath of Empire / Brian McClellan

Title / Wrath of Empire
Author / Brian McClellan
Publication Date / 2018
Series or standalone / book 2 of 3
Page no. / 639
Overall Rating / 
This is the second instalment of the Gods of Blood and Powder series and follows the events of the first book, Sins of Empire, with the same three perspectives. This trilogy is set in the same world as his original Powder Mage trilogy. I would categorise this book, and his other books, as an epic military flintlock fantasy. This is a review of a sequel so there may be minor spoilers ahead, but I will not be discussing the plot in detail. It is one of my most anticipated book releases of 2018.
Once again, McClellan manages to combine action, intrigue and magic to create a fantastic fantasy book. I loved the first book, so I had high hopes for this sequel and I think this book surpassed it. Firstly, I think the perspectives were more evenly distributed between the characters – it was great to see more from Taniel and Ka-poel. The use of multiple perspectives allows the reader to see more of the world and a better understanding of the events unfolding. Each perspective is distinctive and compelling. A lot of the time with multiple perspective I find one more compelling than the others but that was not the case with this book. In terms of the plot, I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. McClellan does a fantastic job at weaving all of the threads of the plot together and keeping you guessing throughout the book. There were a few moments I thought I knew where things were headed but then new things come to light and you find out it’s going in a completely different direction. There are so many twists and turns in this sequel. The plot is intricately woven, but it never felt confusing and it never dragged for me. The build-up of tension is also really well done. One aspect of the plot that I personally love is the strategy/tactics. I find it fascinating and McClellan continues to deliver it so well. There are also some fantastic action and battle scenes. The overall pacing of this book was so well done. I found with the first book that the pacing was quite slow at times because we were being introduced to this new series. In this sequel, however, it is more fast paced. There is a lot going on and that keeps the pace moving at a good speed. Even with the faster pacing, McClellan still manages to develop the complex plot and characters without sacrificing anything. The writing continues to be great. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down.
The world building and magic system are another strength of this trilogy. In this sequel we continue to learn more about this world, mainly due to the fact that the characters are now on the move, so we get to explore more of the world. The magic system is once again fantastic. To put it briefly, there are four types of magic in this world; Knacked, Privileged, Powder Mages (Marked) and Bone eyes. The first two draw power from the Else, while a Powder Mage draws power from gun powder. Little is known of Bone eye magic, but it seems to be similar to voodoo in some ways and draws on blood magic. Obviously, these are only very brief explanations of the magic system. I think these unique systems are one of the main strengths of these books and I’m excited to see how some characters powers are developed in the next book. I can’t help but feel that a few of the characters we are only scratching the surface of their power, such as Ka-poel. Speaking of the characters, I thought their development in this sequel was fantastic. There are so many wonderful characters in this book and the trilogy as a whole so far. We get to see familiar characters as well as some new ones. Each character is complex with well thought out back stories and I am so excited to see their development in the next book. I thought McClellan also did a great job at developing their relationships with each other. It was such a pleasure to see both old and new relationships develop throughout the 600 pages.
Overall, this is an excellent continuation from book 1 and I cannot wait for the third and final book, Blood of Empire, to be released. I cannot rate this trilogy so far highly enough, although I would definitely suggest reading the Powder Mage trilogy before starting this one.  If you enjoyed the first book, then I think you will love this sequel too. If you haven’t read these books yet, then I highly recommend checking them out. At this moment, the third book has no release date or cover, but I believe it is hopefully being released some time next year (2019). 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, I hope you are all well. It’s the start of the month, so I thought I’d share some exciting releases for August. There are four books in particular I’m interested in and wanted to share with you guys. No surprise that three out of the four are fantasy books :). Let’s get started.

 

  • City of Ink / book 3 of the Li Du series / Elsa Hart / 21st
  • Blood of the Gods / book 2 of the Ascension Cycle / David Mealing / 23rd
  • Foundryside / book 1 of the Founders / Robert Jackson Bennett / 23rd / ★★★.5
  • Bloody Rose / book 2 in the Band series / Nicholas Eames / 30th

 

 

That’s all for today. I’ve already read one of these but I still wanted to share it with you guys and I’m excited to get to the other three. What books are you excited for in August? I’d love to know what books you’re waiting for. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

July Wrap Up and August TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of the month, which means its time for another monthly wrap up post. I lowered my Goodreads reading goal this month to 80 books as I don’t think I’ll be able to read 100 this year. It was nice to go from being behind my goal to being ahead of it. Anyway I’ve read 6 books this month, none of which is rated under 3 stars. I’m also starting to get back into the flow of blogging after my holiday :). Let’s get started.

 

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Redemption’s Blade / Adrian Tchaikovsky / ★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
What first drew me to this book is that it is set in the aftermath of the big event. So often we see the build up and the resolution right after but we never see what happens after. In this book we see the aftermath of such an event. I really liked this aspect of the book. The characters are quite well written, if a little flat, and I loved the diversity of the world. Throughout the 500 pages, we get to see a wide variety of races as well as reading about different areas of the world. Plot-wise this book is quite light and for me it lacked cohesion at times, but for the most part I found it to be an enjoyable read. Overall I enjoyed this book but I didn’t love it. I would recommend checking it out though, as it is an enjoyable read with an interesting premise.

 

The Clan of the Cave Bear / book 1 of the Children’s Earth series / Jean M. Auel / ★★★
This is a historical fiction book set during the Ice Age. I really liked this setting, as I’ve never read anything like this before. One of my main issues with this book was repetition. There is a lot of it throughout the 500 pages and it gets a little frustrating. At times there was also terms used that I doubt would have been used, or even known, in that time. For example at one point Auel talks about dehydration and hypothermia, but these are clearly medical terms from the modern day and wouldn’t have been used back then. I also got a frustrated at the main villains hatred of the main character – there seemed to be very little reason behind it. One last thing that bugged me a little was Ayla (the main character) and her ability to do just about anything. It’s one of those main characters who is seemingly perfect, if that makes sense. Despite all of these things, I did still enjoy this book. The plot is good, if a little slow at times and generally the characters were well written. If you enjoy historical fiction and/or are interested in this time period, then I would recommend checking this book out.

 

Crazy Rich Asians / Kevin Kwan / ★★★.5
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll probably realise that this book isn’t the type of book I’d normally read and you’d be right. I picked this up on a bit of a whim, after seeing the trailer for the film, and I actually ended really enjoying it. It’s a little silly and over the top, but it was just the light, fun read that I needed at the time.

 

Soul of the World / book 1 of the Ascension Cycle / David Mealing / ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was such a good book. I had it on my radar, and then on my kindle, for quite a while before actually reading. I have a full review of this coming soon, so I’m not going into detail right now. Overall I loved this book and would recommend checking it out, especially if you enjoy epic fantasy.

 

Assassin’s Fate / book 3 of the Fitz and the Fool trilogy / Robin Hobb / ★★★★
I’ve now completed the Realm of the Elderlings series. I thought this was a fantastic conclusion to this series. I mean it’s Robin Hobb, so you know it’s going to be good. My only minor issue was that it was a little repetitive at times but overall this book was fantastic. If you’ve enjoyed her other books, then you enjoy this too and if you haven’t pick up Hobb’s books yet then I highly recommend you do.

 

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The Hyena and the Hawk / book 3 of the Echoes of the Fall trilogy / Adrian Tchaikovsky / ★★★★
This was one of my most anticipated books of this year and it didn’t disappoint. I loved the direction of the plot and thought this was a fantastic conclusion to this trilogy. Once again the writing is great and I don’t want to put the book down once I’ve started it.  I loved being back with these characters and their development in this final book was so well done. Basically I really enjoyed this book. I’m planning on writing a full review so this is all I’ll say about this book for now.

 

 

I’m currently reading Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore. I’m about 100 pages in and I’m liking it so far. In terms of my August TBR, there are a few books I’d like to get to including Iron Gold by Pierce Brown, The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst, The Ice by Laline Paull and Lamentation by C. J. Sansom. I may get distracted by other books though :). There are few book releases in August too. What was your favourite book in July? Have you read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa