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

 

 

Jade City / Fonda Lee

Title / Jade City
Author / Fonda Lee
Publication Date / 2017
Series or standalone / book 1 of 3
Page no. / 512
Overall Rating / 

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Goodreads synopsis:Magical jade—mined, traded, stolen, and killed for—is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. For centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion. Now the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation. When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone—even foreigners—wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones—from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets—and of Kekon itself.

 

This one is actually going to be quite a hard one to review. I wanted to love it and there are things I really liked about it but overall this one just didn’t work for me. It is the first book in an adult fantasy series. Firstly I loved the concept of this book. Basically it is set in the fictional world of Kekon, where Jade is a precious stone that will enhance a warrior’s capability in 6 different ways: strength, perception, steel, lightness, deflection and channelling. The more Jade you have, the more power you can harness.  Kekon is reminiscent of Southeast Asian countries and the capital is Janloon. The capital is controlled by two warring clans; the No Peak Clan and the Mountain Clan. I think the author did a fantastic job at creating these two warring clans. I love these types of settings and I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. We get to see the conflict through the eyes of a few members of the No Peak Clan. I thought the world building was one of the main strengths of this book. Lee has done a great job at creating a vivid world with an interesting magic system. I really liked the magic system but I think it could definitely have done with more explanation. Despite my issues with the plot, which I’ll mention later, overall I thought it was quite good and I think a lot of people will enjoy it.

 

So it’s was a little tricky for me to come up with the reason I didn’t love this. It’s one of those books you can’t quite put your finger on why, if that makes sense, but I’ll try to order my thoughts for you guys. Firstly I think the pacing was an issue. It felt quite uneven at times, which meant that I struggled a little to keep invested in the story. There were sections that really pulled me in, but these parts would end and I would be less invested again, if that makes sense. Due to this the plot moves at a painfully slow pace at times, which detracts from the story itself. I also felt that the plot felt quite thin at certain points throughout the book. This book is just over 500 pages long but I don’t think it needed to be. The characters had potential to be fantastic, but I personally felt that they lacked development. To me it also seemed that some decisions made by characters were done purely as a way to move on the plot, despite the fact they felt contradictory to who the character was. The last thing I wanted to mention is the lack of suspense. I don’t know whether it’s just me but I didn’t see the wider picture of the conflict. Why are the two clans fighting? What happens if one side wins? Each clan is just as bad as the other and I didn’t fully grasp why we were supposed to root for one over the other. Maybe that’s just because I skim read parts and missed something.

 

Overall this was a good book, but in the end I found it didn’t find its footing. I didn’t become fully invested in the characters or story, despite the fact there are so many great things about this book. I know I didn’t rate it very highly but I would still recommend checking this one out, because I think a lot of people will enjoy it. Have you read this book? I would love to know your thought I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

 

Pippa

 

 

TTT: Series I’ve Given Up On

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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 series I’ve given up on. The theme for this weeks topic is reading the first book in a series and not loving it enough to continue with it.

 

  1. Blackthorn and Grim series / Juliet Marillier / read the first book
  2. Shadowdance series / David Dalglish / read the first book
  3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy / Laini Taylor / read the first book and part of the second
  4. Shattered Realm series / Cinda Williams Chima / read the first book
  5. Shades of Magic trilogy / V. E. Schwab / read the first book
  6. The Queen of the Tearling trilogy / Erika Johansen / read the first two books
  7. Lumatere Chronicles / Melina Marchetta / read the first book
  8. The God Fragments series / Tom Lloyd / read the first book
  9. Rise of the Empress / Julie C. Dao / read the first book
  10. Luna series / Ian McDonald / read the first book

 

There are so many other series and books I want to read that I won’t be continuing with these series. Most of the books mentioned I enjoyed but I didn’t love them. What series have you given up on? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
 Pippa

 

 

 

Charmcaster / Sebastien de Castell

Title / Charmcaster
Author / Sebastien de Castell
Publication Date / 2018
Genre / Fantasy
Series or standalone / book 3 of the Spellslinger series
Page no. / 400
Star Rating / ★★★★

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Goodreads synopsis: Kellen has begun to master his spellslinging and the Argosi tricks for staying alive, and he and Reichis have found a career that suits them both: taking down mercenary mages who make people’s lives miserable. But Ferius is concerned that Kellen is courting disaster . . .

 

*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was a fantastic instalment to this 6 book fantasy series. I have done a review of the first two books if you want to my thoughts on them too. Having really enjoyed the first two books, I fully expected to love this instalment and it didn’t disappoint. It was great to be back with these characters and in this world. This book was fantastic from the very start and I loved the progression of the story. Charmcaster is just as fast paced and entertaining as the previous two books. I find this series kind of addictive and once I’ve started reading I don’t want to put the book down. The plot is compelling throughout and the author does a great job at maintaining the flow of the story. Although the pacing is good in this series overall, I found that the first two books start off quite slow but I didn’t have that issue with this book. From the very beginning, the pacing was good and it was maintained throughout the 400 pages. I loved that we got to see more of the world and the author does a fantastic job at building on what we already know of it. As in the previous books, the magic system is wonderfully written and so unique. It is definitely one of the main strengths of this series. I love that the protagonist isn’t the most powerful person but has to rely on his wits to keep himself alive too. Speaking of the protagonist, I love the characters in this series and their development in this instalment was great. The way the relationships develop in this book was such a pleasure to read and I love the banter between them, especially between Kellen and Reichis. Both the old and new characters are so well written and I loved learning a little about Ferius’s past. If you can’t tell I think this was a fantastic instalment to this very entertaining series.

 

Overall I really enjoyed this sequel and can’t wait to see how sees progress in the rest of the series. If you enjoy fantasy books, especially ones that are fast paced and filled with humour, then I highly recommend checking this series out. If you’ve enjoyed the first two books in the series then you will enjoy this instalment too. I know this is quite a short review but hopefully it means my review is concise. Have you read this book? Or do you plan to start this series? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

5 sequels I haven’t read yet

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title I’m going to be sharing some sequels I haven’t read yet, but really want to get to soon. Some of these I’m waiting for the paperback editions and others I just haven’t read yet. Let’s get started.

 

  • Hyena and the Hawk / book 3 in the Echoes of the Fallen series / Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • A Veil of Spears / book 3 in the Shattered Sand series / Bradley Beaulieu
  • Grey Sister / book 2 in the Book of the Ancestors series / Mark Lawrence
  • Wrath of Empire / book 2 in the Gods of Blood and Powder series / Brian McClellan
  • Assassin’s Fate / book 3 in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy / Robin Hobb

 

 

That’s all I have for today. Hopefully I can get to these sequels soon, because I need to know what happens next in these series. What sequels are on your TBR? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Recommendations: More Fantasy

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s been a while since I’ve done a recommendations post so I thought I’d share some more fantasy favourites with you guys. I’ve written quite a few of these already so if you think any books are missing then check them out too – I’ve linked them all below. You guys should know by now that I read a lot of fantasy and I love sharing it with you all :). Let’s get started.
Fantasy recommendations: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6

 

Under Heaven / Guy Gavriel Kay / ★★★★★
This was my first five star read of this year so of course I want to recommend it to you guys.  Everything about this book was fantastic – the writing, the characters, the world, the plot etc. I’d been meaning to try something by this author for a while before reading this and now I want to read all of his books. I love this book and would recommend to everyone who loves fantasy too. I will have a full review of this book up sometime next month.

 

Traitor’s Blade / Sebastian de Castell / ★★★★
This is the first book in the four book fantasy series, the Greatcoats. I’ve not finished this series yet but I have loved the three books I’ve read. This is such an entertaining fantasy series with a great cast of characters and compelling plot.

 

Forgotten Beasts of Eld / Patricia A. McKillip / ★★★★★
If you enjoy fantasy with a fairy tale feel to it then I highly recommend checking out this fantastic book. This was my first book by this author so I didn’t really know what to expect but I loved this book. The writing is fantastic, the plot is compelling and the characters are so well written.

 

The Initiate Brother duology / Sean Russell / ★★★★
This is a fantastic two book fantasy series inspired by East Asian. If you enjoy fantasy with political intrigue then this is well worth checking out. It can be a little slow at times but I found this to be a very compelling read and I thought the writing was great. The world is detailed and interesting with a range of well written characters.

 

 

There are so many fantastic fantasy books out so I will definitely be doing more recommendations in the future. I’d love to know if you guys have any recommendations for me. Have you guys read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Blood of Assassins / R.J. Barker

Title / Blood of Assassins
Author / R. J. Barker
Publication Date / 2018
Page no. / 434
Series or standalone / book 2 of the Wounded Kingdom series
Overall Star Rating / 

36435869

Goodreads synopsis: The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists. War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.

 

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

 

This is the second book in the Wounded Kingdom series; the first being Age of Assassins. This was a good continuation of this series, although I did have a few issues with it. I enjoyed the story of this sequel, although I did find at times it was dragging a little. Some of the plot revolves around military elements and battles, which I thought were really well done. For me I thought the battle scenes were some of the most enjoyable scenes to read but they may not be the case for other people. As a whole I enjoyed the story but I didn’t love it as much as I hoped. It wasn’t that it was bad or anything; I just didn’t find it particularly compelling at times and it was quite slow to start. I think it ended quite well though. In terms of the world building I thought it was good. We learn some more about it in this sequel and I think the author did a good job at expanding on what we already learnt in the first book. I think the magic system is an interesting one, although I don’t fully understand it.

 

The main issue I had with this book was the main character, Girton Club-Foot. I found him to be quite a frustrating protagonist and consequently I didn’t enjoy the narrative as much. He’s five years older in this sequel but he still acts like a young teenager with anger issues. Seriously I wanted to smack some sense into him most of the time. He’s supposed to find out who the killer is in this book but he barely does any investigating and accuses one person mainly due to his own prejudices. I just found him to be a really frustrating character at times. I found the other characters to be well written, although a few were a little lacking in depth. I think the relationship between Girton and Merela is a really interesting one and I enjoyed seeing more of it in this book.

 

Overall I thought this was a good continuation of this series which is well paced and well written. Sorry that this review is so short but it turns it I didn’t have a lot to say :). The next book in this series, King of Assassins, hasn’t got a release date yet. Have you read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa