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.
Series or standalone / Their Bright Ascendancy book 1
Overall Star Rating / ★★
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.
Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought it was about time that I shared some more beautiful books. I’ve done a few posts like this before but I haven’t done one in a while… so I’ve chosen some amazing books covers to share with you all from the books I’ve read or got so far this year. I have eight book to show you guys, all of which have amazing covers :). Let’s get started.
I am sure I will doing another of these posts by the end of the year – there are so many great book covers out there. I really enjoy putting these post together. Which one is your favourite? I love all of them but mine is probably The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst. It’s pretty hard to choose thought! I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Hi guys, I wanted to discuss something with you all today, and that’s how to keep motivated and inspired. I’ve been doing this blog for over a year now (about a year and 4 months) and there are times that I have no idea what to post. I sometimes wonder how I am going to come up with new content in the future and if my content is still enjoyable and interesting to you guys. I want to be able to create content you guys want to read but sometimes it can be tricky coming up with new ideas. It can also be tricky if you have no motivation to write posts, whether for reviews or any other post.
I think this is definitely something that I need to work on, so it doesn’t become a big stressful thing. Anyway I do have some things I do to help me if I’m lacking a bit of motivation or inspiration. Firstly I take inspiration from the bloggers I follow. There are fantastic bloggers out there and it’s perfectly acceptable to get ideas from them – obviously don’t steal posts and credit the blogger if needed. Just reading other blogs will help. There are also so many lists of blog post ideas out there – I’ve even done one which you can find here for book bloggers. Looking at such lists especially helped me in the beginning when I was first coming up with blog post ideas. Now I have a list of them in my bullet journal to refer back to when needed. Another thing I do is track some of my posts (such as my recommendations, author exploration etc.) so I don’t post them to often. This kind of helps motivate me to come up with new content too. Something that I think is a good thing to do when feeling a little uninspired is talk to someone about it, especially if they have a similar interest than you. You can then bounce ideas off each other and hopefully come up with some new ideas. Or ask your readers for some ideas and constructive criticisms to improve your blog. Or you can ask a blogger for advice. I think it’s also important to have a routine or schedule and to stay organised. Obviously if that is not how you work than don’t do it this way, but personally I like have a set schedule. I plan all of my content in advance and like to come up with new possible ideas for each month, as I don’t want things to get boring for you guys. Also I want to be able to grow my main blog and try new things – being organised helps me with this. Even staying organised it can still be tricky to stay motivated and inspired but it definitely helps. If now of this helps than I think it’s time to step back from this and take some time away from your blog so you can work on it without the pressure of posting. It can just help to take some time for yourself – it is totally OK to take a break.
What do you guys do to stay inspired? I’d love to know if you have any tips for me as I do worry about keeping my blog going without just repeating posts. I am sure I’ve missed something in this discussion but those are some of my thoughts. What do you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Hi guys, how are you all? I hope you’ve had a nice beginning of July. I have to admit that I’m kind of impatiently waiting for the start of autumn now 🙂 – I’m not a summer person really. Anyway, today I thought I would revisit my bullet journal with you guys. At the beginning of the year I showed you my bullet journal and I thought now that I’ve been using it for around six months I would share how I’ve got on with it. Also I apologise in advance for the lighting in some of these photos but it was natural lighting so there isn’t alot I can do about it. Let’s get started.
The first two pages are pretty self explanatory – there my 2017 resolutions and a year at a glance page which contains birthdays and holiday dates. The next pages (pictured below) are all blog related. The first is a stats tracker for my blog, Instagram and twitter accounts. I know it’s not all about numbers but it’s nice to see some growth. Next I have a blog post ideas page. I like to be able to come up with new content so this is the place I come up with ideas – although I’m a little bit stuck with ideas at the moment. I then have a blog and YouTube post tracker, as you can see I’ve been pretty inconsistent with my YouTube posts – I’m still trying to get the hang of it. I also have a page set up to track my goodreads challenge and a place to note down my favourite books.
My next pages are all monthly spreads to keep track of all things blog related. I like having it all in one place for me to see. After that I have a place to note down my monthly posts, tbrs and videos as well as a possible daily plan for my Instagram account, although I don’t always stick to it :). Blue ink indicates blog posts, green indicates a YouTube post and black indicates a personal thing. Also a orange dot shows it’s written and scheduled, and once it’s posted I’ll tick it with a red pen.
After all of my monthly spreads I have a page to keep track of my TBR books, although I haven’t been great at keeping this up to date. Then I have a couple of pages dedicated to my anticipated releases of 2017 whether it’s books, films or games. There’s a lot of great stuff coming out this year and I like to keep track of it all.
Next up I have a page to note down any new favourites, whether it’s food, skincare, games etc, for possible posts in the future. Then I have a spread for my mental health tracker. I split these pages into four for each month, so I can note down how the overall month has been for my mental health and how I’ve been feeling. After that I have a fitness tracker. I’ve been trying to be more active this year so this is a great way of keeping track of that – as you can see it is colour coded depending on activity. I also have a spread to keep track of all the films that I have seen this year.
The next page is a bucket list type page – things I want to learn, places I want to visit, things to see etc. As you can see I then have a page to note down any big moments of 2017 and opposite that a page that reminds me of a few things when you are feeling a bit down. Next I have a place to note down the dates of posting certain posts – just so I know what I’m posting and when. Opposite that I have an Instagram tracker, which is pretty self explanatory. I keep track of when I am posting on Instagram. Then I have a brain dump spread, which is again self explanatory. The next page allows me to plan for future recommendation posts and on the opposite page I’ve noted down all of the authors I’ve talked about so far on my blog in author explorations. The penultimate spread has a page dedicated to my progress on my unfinished series and a place to note down my favourite and disappointing books of 2017. Finally I have a rough packing list for Crete and on the opposite page a couple of quotes – one from J. R. R. Tolkien and the other from Aubrey Hepburn.
That is all I have to share with you guys today. I hope some of found this a little interesting. I have to say I have really enjoyed using my bullet journal and will definitely be continuing on with it. Do you guys use a bullet journal? What do you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Hi guys, how are you? I hope you are all well. This post is going to be a little different. On this day (the 15th) last year I published my first ever post on this blog. So I am taking this opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone who visits, comments and follows my blog. I can’t quite believe that I have been doing this for a year now – it doesn’t seem like it has been that long. In the back of my mind I had always thought I wouldn’t last long. My low self esteem would get to me and I would stop but I’ve kept with it for a year now. I am so happy that I have got here. Not only I am doing something here that I enjoy doing but I have meet some really lovely people as well. It has also been a great way for me to challenge myself and put myself out there abit more. To be entirely honest I am still not great at putting myself out there but baby steps right? 🙂 Anyway I’m getting a bit off topic… I just can’t quite believe it’s been a year. I am sorry this is probably going to be a bit of a short post but I don’t want to ramble too much.
Once again thank you so much to everyone who supports this – it means the world to me. I can’t believe that in the year I’ve been doing this over 200 people have started following my blog! That just amazes me. Thank you so much. I am looking forward to the next year of blogging and seeing where it takes me. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Hi guys how are you all today? It is day 11 of blogmas :). As the title suggests, today I am talking about some underrated books. I have no idea who created this tag so sorry about that, but I thought it was a great tag for me to do, so here we are :). What constitutes a underrated book is pretty subjective, so I am going to be sharing some books that I don’t see enough in the bookish community. Let’s get started.
A favourite book you find underrated?
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi. It is such an enjoyable book but I haven’t really seen it around in the book blog/vlog world. I don’t know, maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places, but I highly recommend this book. This was my first Scalzi book and I am now a huge fan of this author.
An underrated book I’d want to make into a movie?
The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver. I think this would make a great film or tv series and I absolutely love this series. I think it is marketed for younger readers, but it can be enjoyed by a variety of readers and ages (at least I think so). An animated film or tv would work really well I think.
A favourite author that more people should know?
There are so many authors I love but I think I am going to go with Brian McClellan. At the start of this year I read his Powder Mage trilogy and loved it, but I haven’t seen it around at all so… I also absolutely adore Garth Nix and Trudi Canavan but I think they are quite well known… I really don’t know.
One book that I’d choose to promote and make well known?
Fudoki by Kij Johnson. You guys should know my love for this book by now :). I feel like I can’t recommend this book enough. I was immediately engaged with the writing, the plot and the characters – normally it takes me a little while to get into a new authors writing but that wasn’t true with this book. I have a full non-spoiler review which you can check out here. Go read this book – you won’t regret it.
A book series that is underrated?
The Pellinor series by Alison Croggon. I absolutely adore this series but I just don’t see it talked about. This series has such amazing characters and a engaging plot – it is amazing. Seriously go read it. I mean, I love it so much I created a tag about it – Pellinor Book Tag (Original).
A favourite character in an underrated book?
Kitai from the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. She is an incredible character and it is so enjoyable to see her character arc throughout the six books. She is one of my favourite female characters . I definitely recommend this series as well.
What book character would you like to turn into a real life celebrity?
I don’t really know: it’s not something I’ve thought about so I think I’m going to pass.
Do I like to keep unknown books a secret, or share them with the world?
Definitely share them with the world. I think they deserve more attention and appreciation.
That is the underrated book tag. It was kind of tricky to answer these questions as it’s kind of subjective as to what is underrated. If that makes sense – what makes a book or author underrated? I don’t really know but I answered the questions to the best of my abilities :). Let me know if you have any underrated books or author to recommend me and I hope you have a great day.