It’s Monday… what are you reading?

badge
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!
Although I’m already reading two books, I’m actually planning on starting another one as well. I tend to only read two books at a time but this is one of the rare occasions I read more than two books at the same time. So the two books I’m currently reading are The Power by Naomi Alderman and The Big Four by Agatha Christie. Right now I’m about 130 pages into The Power and I’m a little conflicted about it. It’s an interesting concept but I’m not finding it the most engaging story so far. We’ll see how I feel once I’ve finished it. The other book is the fourth Poirot book I’ve read and I’m enjoying being back with this character. I’m reading it on my kindle and I’m currently about 9% through. The book I want to start is A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. This book has been on my radar from quite a long time and I randomly felt like picking it up now, so that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll report back to you guys once I’ve finished it.
I have so many books on my TBR and it is always growing. I’m hoping that I’ll finish these three books by the end of the month. Have you guys read any of these books? What you are currently reading? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Artemis / Andy Weir

Title / Artemis
Author / Andy Weir
Publication Date / 2017
Page no. / 384
Series or standalone / Standalone
Overall Star Rating / 

 

28239935

Goodreads synopsis: Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of Jazz’s problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself – and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even more unlikely than the first.

 

When I heard that Andy Weir was coming out with a new book, I was immediately interested. I thought this one was better than his previous book. First off, I thought Jazz was a great protagonist. She kind of sways between being likeable and unlikeable at times, but you become invested in her character anyway. I will say that I thought that her thinking seemed quite juvenile and immature alot of the time, even though she’s supposed to be 26 years old. I found this quite frustrating at times. Most of the characters had moments like this which detracted a little from the characters. For the most part though I did enjoy the characters and thought their progression through the book was good. It’s just that perhaps they could have had a little more depth and not been so immature. I will say that there are probably quite a few similarities between Jazz and Mark, in terms of their personalities and how they’ve been written. As with The Martian the writing is good and easy to get into. I will say that a lot of the scientific stuff kind of goes over my head, but it didn’t detract too much from my overall enjoyment. It does drag a little at times though, due to the scientific explanations. I have to admit skim reading some of those sections because I don’t really understand any of it. Despite this I still found this to be a compelling book. Once I started I just wanted to continue reading to find out what was going to happen next. Another strength of this book was definitely the world. I think Weir did a fantastic job of presenting us this world on the moon. It was easy to become immersed in the world while reading this book and I just thought that it was a very interesting one. I would love to see more of this moon city. This book is definitely not perfect but I still found it to be a fun, action packed and enjoyable read with a great world.

 

Overall I thought this was a very enjoyable read, although Jazz’s immaturity is a little frustrating at times.  Despite the flaws, I still thought it was great and I would definitely recommend checking it out. After some thought it’s probably more of a 3.5 star rating. If you enjoyed The Martian than I would say that there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy this too.  Have you guys read it? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Words That Make Me Want To Pick Up A Book

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some key words that will immediately make me interested in a book. We all have certain things that make us what to read books and I have quite a few things that attract me towards books. Sorry for the long title but I couldn’t figure out a way of shortening it :). Now these don’t necessarily mean I will definitely pick up the book but these words will make me intrigued to check it out. Let’s get started.

 

General:
  • Hidden identities
  • Mythology
  • Strong group of friends
  • The author

 

Fantasy:
  • East Asia inspired
  • Animal companion
  • Strong female lead (especially if she’s good with a bow)
  • Great world building
  • Assassins

 

Historical fiction:
  • WW1 and WW2
  • Ancient China

 

Other things that may sway me to pick up a book include beautiful covers and/or a recommendation from someone I trust. I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of them right now :). What words or phrases make you want to pick up a book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Mini Series Reviews

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some mini reviews of two series. One is an urban fantasy series and the other is a middle grade/young adult fantasy trilogy. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to review today, so I thought I’d review some series that I’ve read. Anyway let’s just get started.

 

The Others series / Anne Bishop / ★★★.5
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.  Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

 

This isn’t the type of book that I usually go for, but this series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I’m not normally a huge fan of books with werewolves, vampires etc and I tend to avoid them. This series is an exception. There’s something about the characters and their relationship that I really enjoyed reading about. I feel like they definitely could do with more depth and development through the five books, but you still become invested in them or at least I did. I thought that the plot was pretty compelling throughout, as well being quite different to what I usually pick up. Having said that it can be a bit of a slow burn. It’s not a full on, action packed urban fantasy, so if that’s what you’re looking for then this isn’t it. However if you’re looking for a more world and character based urban fantasy then you may want to check this out. I think the world is quite vividly drawn, as well as being one you want to know more about. The writing is easy to get into and I found the books to be quite addictive. Overall I think this is a great series, although a little slow at times and perhaps lacking a bit in character depth. I would still recommend checking it out, especially if you are a fan of urban fantasy. Trigger warning for self harm. Side note, I really dislike these covers.

 

 

Inkworld trilogy / Cornelia Funke / ★★★
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service. Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can “read” characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie’s mother disappeared into the story. This “story within a story” will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters.

 

This is originally written in German. Firstly I love the concept of this trilogy – that some people can read characters to life. I think that’s quite a interesting idea and I really enjoyed the story. I will say that although I think it can be enjoyed by a variety of ages, I think it is most suited to it’s younger target audience. The characters are all well written, although I wasn’t the biggest fan of some of the character progression (particularly Meggie), but generally the characters are great. The plot is unlike anything I’ve come across. I will say that although I did enjoy this trilogy overall I did think that the first book was the strongest and that it got progressively weaker. It is still a good story though. I think the writing is great in this trilogy and it really immerses you in this world. There are some good plot twists throughout the trilogy too. I haven’t read anything else by this author but I can see why she is a popular writer of children’s fiction. Overall this is a good trilogy, although I personally felt that the books got progressively weaker. I would recommend this if you are a big fan of the author or enjoy a lot of middle grade/young adult.

 

That is all I have for you guys today. Have you read either of these series? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Read The Hobbit

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s Friday so it’s time for another review and I thought I would do another 5 reasons to read style review. I wasn’t sure what book to talk about so I decided on a classic, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I actually didn’t read it until a couple of years ago (I think). I definitely saw why it is considered a classic. Let’s get started.

DSCN0058

  1. It can be enjoyed by a variety of ages. Originally written for Tolkien’s children, this classic can be loved by children or adults. It is just so good.
  2. The world is vividly drawn with fantastic characters. Middle-Earth is such a wonderful fantasy world and you will become fully invested in the characters.
  3. I think this is a great place to start if you are new to the fantasy genre or if you want to try some of Tolkien’s writing. LOTR is quite dense, so I think reading The Hobbit first is a good idea as it will give you a taste of Tolkien’s writing and it’s not as dense.
  4. Although a little slow to start, the plot is compelling and is so enjoyable to read. I think the atmosphere is also great throughout the book.
  5. If you are a big fantasy genre fan then I think this is well worth a read. It’s fantastic.

 

Basically I think it’s a really great book and I would definitely recommend reading it :). Have you read it? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

October Wrap Up and November TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time to talk about all the books I read in October… When I say all, I actually only mean 3 books. I had a bit of a slow reading month but I’m pretty pleased that I managed to read some books.

 

The Loving Cup / Winston Graham / ★★★
This was another good book in this series, but it did fall a little flat for me. Maybe because it’s been a while since I read the last book, so it took me a little while to work what was going on again. It was still good though and I will definitely be continuing on with this series.

 

1984 / George Orwell / ★★★.5
I think this is quite a hard one to rate. I thought that the writing was great and the flow of it made it quite easy to become absorbed. The world building was fantastic; you really feel the oppressive nature of this world. It is also definitely a thought provoking book, although perhaps a little dated now. It did drag a little bit at times but it didn’t really affect my reading experience.  I’ve been meaning to read this for ages now, so I’m glad that I’ve finally gotten around to reading it. Overall I thought this was a great book and I would recommend reading it.

 

34392663

Time of Dread / John Gwynne / ★★★.5
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I’ve been aware of this author’s other series for a while, so when I saw he was coming out with a new series I thought I’d give it a go. I thought this was a great introduction to this trilogy, although it did take me a little while to get into (mainly due to my reading slump). I think one of the main strengths of this book were the range of characters; all of which were well written and engaging. This is a book with multiple perspectives, so if that’s not your thing than it’s probably something to be aware of going in, but I thought it was done well. Each perspective was distinctive and compelling. Overall I thought this was great. I will have a full review up closer to the release date (January 11th).

 

34913716

Shadowblack / Sebastien de Castell / ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I thought this was a great continuation of this series. I find this series is so enjoyable and fun to read. Although it did take me a little while to get into (due to the reading slump), I thought the plot was compelling and it was great to be back with these characters. I especially enjoy the character of Reichis. If you’re looking for a new entertaining fantasy series to read, I definitely recommend checking these books out. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

 

Mistress of the Empire / Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts / ★★★★
This was a fantastic ending to this trilogy. I was in a bit of a reading slump when I started reading this but after around 100 pages I was hooked. It was so good to be back with these characters and in this world. I think Mara is such a great female protagonist and is one of my favourite things about this trilogy. I also really enjoyed the scope of it – throughout the trilogy we see years of the characters lives and so we really see them grow. The writing is good, the plot is compelling and the characters are so well written. Overall I think this was a fantastic trilogy and I highly recommend checking it out.
I am currently reading The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, so I will definitely be finishing that soon. In November I would also love to read Monstress: Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. Other books I want to get to include The Power by Naomi Alderman, Good People by Hannah Kent and The Makioka Sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. I think I’m coming out of my reading slump so I hope to read more next month. What was your favourite book you read this month? Mine was definitely Mistress of the Empire. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Daughter of Shadow / Tyler Sehn

Title / Daughter of Shadow
Author / Tyler Sehn
Publication Date / 2015
Page no. / 534 (kindle)
Star Rating / ★★★

32508714

Goodreads synopsis: Born with one foot in light and one in darkness, she is torn between both. Melea is the greatest warrior in the world. In service to the Lord of Light, she uses her abilities to kill for his divine vision. Shadows grow larger as the Light spreads—the world and the forces that define it are changing and Melea is caught in the center. Melea denies being a villain, refuses to be a hero, and would rather slash with the razors edge than walk along it. Fate spins, or so it is said, and Melea is cursed with the luck of the dead.

 

I first read this a similar time last year but decided on a whim to reread it in September. I initially gave it a 2.5 star rating but I bumped it up to 3.5. I will say from the start that this book isn’t perfect but I thought it had a lot of potential. The first thing I want to talk about is the plot. I personally found it to be quite compelling, although there are definitely parts of the story that do drag and are perhaps unnecessary. It is also a little confusing at times.  Due to this it was quite a slow read for me and I consider myself a relatively fast reader. However I never felt bored so it didn’t bother me too much. The relative frequent changes in perspectives wasn’t my favourite thing but I managed to keep track of what was going on with each character. If that is something that you don’t like though, it is probably something to be aware of going in. The writing is easy to get into and although the book is long it is not too dense. I think the action scenes were written well. The world is an interesting one too and I thought overall the world building was well done. There are few instances where I wanted a bit more explanation but perhaps that would come in the sequel. I would love to know more about this world. The first chapter definitely opens this book really well and I was intrigued from the start.

 

While the characters are generally well written, I think they were lacking some depth, especially Melea. I think she had so much potential to be an amazing character but in practice she just doesn’t quite live up to that potential. I think the main issue I had was that she’s frequently referred to as one of the best fighters and a ‘child of death’ but I wanted more proof of this. Yes it is clear she is a good fighter but I don’t think it’s clear that she’s supposed to be one of the best. I wanted more depth to her character. There were a few moments where I did get a little frustrated with her.  Having said that I did still really enjoy her character and I would say she is probably one of my favourite things about this book. I really like that she is not a hero but she’s also not a villain – it’s not black or white with her character. There are a few other quite intriguing characters too. I found each perspective to be engaging, although I definitely preferred Melea chapters.

 

Overall I thought this was a good start to this fantasy series, although I don’t know when or if the second book is going to be released. I would continue on with this series, however since there is no sign of a sequel I may lose interest. Hopefully it will be released soon. It’s still worth checking out if it sounds interesting to you. Sorry this is quite a short review. Have you read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa