Six For Sunday: Favourite Characters

Six For Sunday: Favourite Characters

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This week on Six For Sunday we’re talking about favourite characters – so lets dive in!

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175147.2731. The Darkling (Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo)
One of my favourite characters has to be the darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. I think he’s such a brilliant villain and such an interesting character, I would love to have a prequel book about his life before the events of Shadow and Bone – I’m also super excited to see how Ben Barnes plays him in the new Netflix adaptation!

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175236.1092. Jude Duarte (The Cruel Prince – Holly Black)
Jude is such a kick-ass character in Holly Black’s Folk of the Air. She’s scheming and determined and she doesn’t shy away from difficult choices. I loved seeing her character grow through the three books and she has definitely become one of my favourite characters. I must admit though it was tough to decide between her and Cardan, they’re both brilliant.

Copy of book cover (23)3. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter – J K Rowling)
Growing up I pretty much wanted to be Hermione Granger. I’m pretty sure I might have went as her for Halloween on more than one occasion. Clever and brave, she’s one of the best characters in the Harry Potter books and I think she deserves a lot more credit for all the times she stopped Harry and Ron from getting into even bigger disasters.

Copy of book cover (24)4. Mia Corvere (Nevernight – Jay Kristoff)
Going into Nevernight I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I really didn’t expect to discover a new favourite series. A bit like Jude, Mia Corvere is another kick-ass character that I just absolutely love. She’s such a strong character, completely set on her vengeance against those who hurt her family. I loved her in the Nevernight books, even if they completely broke my heart in the end.

Copy of book cover (13)5. Levi Glasayer (Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody)
I finished reading King of Fools last month and I’m still thinking about it, so obviously Levi had to go on this list. I love the way he schemes and charms his way out of every situation. I love the world Foody has created in The Shadow Game series and seeing Levi carry out his plots and schemes has led to these books becoming some of my favourites.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175247.2616. Cersei Lannister (A Game of Thrones – George R R Martin)
Cersei Lannister is one of my favourite characters in both the books and the television adaptation. She’s fierce, unapologetic and just the best character. She protects her family at any costs and I think she’s just one of the most fascinating characters. To be honest it was hard to pick just one from the ASOIAF series, but Cersei has to be my favourite.

Book Review: In An Absent Dream – Seanan McGuire

Book Review: In An Absent Dream – Seanan McGuire

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Series:
Wayward Children #4 (Review of book one is here!)
Release Date: January 8th 2019
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 204
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I listened to this book via Scribd.
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

Review

Copy of book cover (9)Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series is one that I have grown to absolutely love. It was something I had had on my TBR for a while and I ended up reading the whole series in one month. Fast paced and magical, I never want this series to end. This fourth instalment follows Lundy, a character we met in book one as she travels through her door to the Goblin Market.

I must admit to being particularly intrigued about this instalment as Lundy was a character I found pretty interesting in Every Heart A Doorway. I was really excited going in, I knew her story would be a fascinating one. Like the previous instalments McGuire does a brilliant job explaining the world to us, giving the reader the chance to get to know the rules and magic of this new world.

The Goblin Market is such an interesting setting and McGuire’s writing really brings the world to life. The story very much has a dreamlike quality to it, something I think really shines through in McGuire’s writing style. Like the previous instalments it is quite a short book and so sets a pretty quick pace from the outset. This story felt much sadder than the others, and I must admit that Lundy’s tale is an emotional and heartbreaking one.

In an Absent Dream is an incredible instalment to what really is one of my favourite new fantasy series. If you’ve read the first few I would definitely recommend the fourth book, and if you haven’t had the chance this is absolutely the perfect series to binge.

                             

 

April Book Haul

April Book Haul

July 23, 2019 (4)
April’s book haul is a pretty small one, with the world being on lock down I haven’t been receiving much in the way of book post or browsing in the bookshops. I did make some purchases online however, so here’s the books I picked up in April!

Copy of book cover (5)Pine – Francine Toon
They are driving home from the search party when they see her.

The trees are coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men. Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands, in a small village surrounded by pine forest. When a woman stumbles out onto the road one Halloween night, Niall drives her back to their house in his pickup. In the morning, she’s gone.

In a community where daughters rebel, men quietly rage, and drinking is a means of forgetting, mysteries like these are not out of the ordinary. The trapper found hanging with the dead animals for two weeks. Locked doors and stone circles. The disappearance of Lauren’s mother a decade ago.

Lauren looks for answers in her tarot cards, hoping she might one day be able to read her father’s turbulent mind. Neighbours know more than they let on, but when local teenager Ann-Marie goes missing it’s no longer clear who she can trust.

In spare, haunting prose, Francine Toon creates an unshakeable atmosphere of desolation and dread. In a place that feels like the end of the world, she unites the gloom of the modern gothic with the pulse of a thriller. It is the perfect novel for our haunted times.

Copy of book cover (4)Nocturna – Maya Montayne
Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162245.966The Mercies – Kiran Milwood Hargrave
Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves.

Three years later, a sinister figure arrives. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband’s authority and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil.

As Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them, with Absalom’s iron rule threatening Vardø’s very existence.

Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.

Dispel Illusion – Mark Lawrence
Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162339.436Sometimes being wrong is the right answer.

Nick Hayes’s genius is in wringing out the universe’s secrets. It’s a talent that’s allowed him to carve paths through time. But the worst part is that he knows how his story will end. He’s seen it with his own eyes. And every year that passes, every breakthrough he makes, brings him a step closer. Mia’s accident is waiting for them both in 2011. If it happens then he’s out of choices.

Then a chance 1992 discovery reveals that this seeker of truth has been lying to himself. But why? It’s a question that haunts him for years. A straw he clings to as his long-awaited fate draws near.

Time travel turns out not to be the biggest problem Nick has to work on. He needs to find out how he can stay on his path but change the destination. Failure has never been an option, and neither has survival. But Nick’s hoping to roll the dice one more time. And this new truth begins with a lie.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162119.413Ruthless Gods – Emily A. Duncan
Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

Copy of book cover (3)House of Salt and Sorrows – Erin A. Craig
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought and also what books you picked up in April!

Book Review: Bookish and the Beast – Ashley Poston

Book Review: Bookish and the Beast – Ashley Poston

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Series:
Once Upon A Con #3
Release Date: June 16th 2020
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

In the third book in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series, Beauty and the Beast is retold in the beloved Starfield universe.

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T175826.598When I read Geekarella I fell completely in love with the geeky and adorable characters Ashley Poston had created. When I picked up Princess and the Fangirl I had some pretty high expectations and yet again I loved absolutely everything about it. So when Bookish and the Beast was announced it pretty much became one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairy tales so I was incredibly excited to see Poston’s take. If it’s possible I loved this one even more than the previous two books and I am pretty much obsessed with this series.

Bookish and the Beast follows Vance Reigns, a character we’ve met briefly in previous books. He’s incredibly famous and wherever he goes scandal and wrongdoing seem to follow. To get out of the spotlight Vance is shipped off to a remote town till things cool off. There he meets Rosie, a young girl struggling with everything – the death of her mother, her college applications and her future. When the two are forced to work together it’s clear they can’t stand each other but after weeks of working in a library will their feelings stay the same?

Bookish and the Beast is honestly just the perfect sweet contemporary read. This book is pure escapism, it’s sweet and cute and just the best read to get lost in for a few hours. I love going to comic con and I love all the fandom references that are littered throughout the book. Rosie and Vance are brilliant characters and it was so easy to root for them. There’s quite a few secondary characters I really liked too and it was lovely to get glimpses of characters from the previous two novels too.

This story is beautiful and addictive and I didn’t want it to end. (I also kind of want Ashley Poston to write a Starfield series because honestly it sounds like the kind of thing I would just love). I loved the way Poston incorporated the aspects of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and I cannot wait to see what story she tackles next.
5 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday: Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis

Waiting on Wednesday: Harrow Lake – Kat Ellis

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Synopsis

Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone’s expecting you . . .

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover (21)Harrow Lake is a book I’ve seen going around quite a lot on social media and lots of people have been absolutely loving it. It sounds like a perfect creepy thriller and I am honestly do excited to pick this one up. I love old horror movies and I think this is going to be the perfect book to binge in an afternoon. I haven’t yet had the chance to pick up any of Kat Ellis’ other books but I am definitely intrigued. The synopsis kind of gives me Night Film vibes, with the father who is a horror filmmaker and the creepy locations the films were set. I absolutely adored Night Film so I’m really hoping Harrow Lake has similar vibes. I’ve seen a fair few early reviews that have been five stars so this is giving me hope for the intense creepy thriller I’m craving. If like me you’re dying to read this one, you don’t have too much longer to wait – Harrow Lake is publishing July 9th 2020 from Penguin Books. 

Book Review: One Of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

Book Review: One Of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

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Series:
One Of Us Is Lying #2
Release Date: January 7th 2020
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 375
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I picked up a copy of this in my local bookshop
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis

It is a year after the action of One of Us Is Lying, and someone has started playing a game of Truth or Dare.

But this is no ordinary Truth or Dare. This game is lethal. Choosing the truth may reveal your darkest secrets, accepting the dare could be dangerous, even deadly.

The teenagers of Bayview must work together once again to find the culprit, before it’s too late . . .

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T172732.088One Of Us Is Next is the sequel to YA thriller smash hit One Of Us Is Lying and returns to Bayview High a year after the events of the first book. A game of Truth or Dare has started among the high school students, but with a lethal twist. The students must work out who the mysterious person behind the game is and why they’re so determined to get vengeance on Bayview students.

I really enjoyed One Of Us Is Lying when I read it last year so I was really interested in the sequel. The story follows some new characters as well as Bronwyn’s younger sister Maeve who we meet in book one. The characters were well fleshed out and I really liked Maeve as a main character. She was one of the characters I was intrigued by in book one so it was nice to read a story from her perspective. We also get to see snippets of the characters from book one and what has happened to them since the story finished. I really enjoyed seeing where they had ended up.

Like McManus’ other books, the story is action packed and full of twists and turns. It’s a fast paced story and perfect for binge reading on a quiet afternoon. The story is a little predictable – I’m not really one for guessing plot twists and I figured it out quite early on – but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story. If you’ve read the first one it’s definitely worth checking out the sequel and If you haven’t yet tried them out these books are perfect for YA thriller fans.
4 Stars

Book Review: Burn – Patrick Ness

Book Review: Burn – Patrick Ness

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Release Date:
May 7th 2020
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 480
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received an ARC of this through Tandem Collective
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

In 1956 Sarah Dewhurst’s father shocks her by hiring a dragon to work the farm. The dragon is a smaller blue rather than the traditional larger reds, though even the reds are now scarce. When the blue dragon, Kazimir, unexpectedly saves Sarah and her friend Jason Inagawa from the attentions of the racist police deputy, Kelby, everything changes. Sarah is part of a prophecy and she must escape the clutches of Malcolm, an assassin from a Believer Cell, the dragon-worshiping cult. When Sarah, Malcolm, and Kazimir eventually converge, they are thrown into another universe, where dragons seem never to have existed. Can they save this world and the one they left?

Review

Copy of book cover (20)Burn is the latest release from acclaimed YA author Patrick Ness. The story is set in world where humans and dragons co-exist and the story follows Sarah Dewhurst, a young girl whose father has hired a dragon to help on their farm. Sarah soon learns the dragon has other reasons for coming to the farm and she finds herself entangled in a prophecy to stop a war that could threaten the whole planet. But Sarah and Kazimir aren’t the only ones who know about this prophecy, when an assassin arrives at the farm Sarah must fight for her life and those she loves.

Burn is my third Patrick Ness book and definitely my favourite. I loved this unique and engaging idea – 1950s America where dragons and humans have to tolerate each other. It’s a fascinating tale and tackles a whole range of themes from racism, homophobia, grief and family. The world building in this book is truly superb. The dragons and humans idea worked so well and felt very natural. I loved that Ness gives the reader a chance to learn a bit about dragon history too. I found this really intriguing and added another layer to this complex tale.

The story is quite a fast-paced one, with plenty of action to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I ended up reading the book pretty quickly, especially the latter half of the book as the tension began to climb. Ness has created a gripping tale with quite a few surprise twists that I definitely didn’t see coming.

Burn features a really fascinating cast of characters. I really liked our main protagonist Sarah, as well as scholarly dragon Kazimir. Assassin Malcolm is probably the character I liked most. His story arc is really engrossing, as he goes from a member of the cult like Believers to an assassin. There is an immense amount of character growth in this book and it really kept me hooked.

Burn is an addictive read than fans of Patrick Ness are absolutely going to love. I definitely didn’t want it to end and if you’re curious about this one I’d definitely recommend picking it up!
4 Stars