Favourite Books of 2020 So Far!

Favourite Books of 2020 So Far!

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Since we are now over half way through the year I thought it would be fun to do a list of my favourite reads of the last six months. These are in no particular order, but all of them were five star reads that I absolutely loved. 

Copy of book cover (75)1. A Queen In Hiding – Sarah Kozloff
Debut author Sarah Kozloff offers a breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy of a ruler coming of age in A Queen in Hiding first in the quartet of The Nine Realms series.

Orphaned, exiled and hunted, Cérulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be.

But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.

Copy of book cover2. The Curator – M W Craven
It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6. Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

Copy of book cover (19)3. The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware
When she stumbles across the advert, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Copy of book cover (13)4. King of Fools – Amanda Foody
On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T121652.2035. Aurora Burning – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162339.4366. Dispel Illusion – Mark Lawrence
Sometimes 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 - 2020-02-16T205726.6097. The Unspoken Name – A K Larkwood
What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141424.7618. Viper – Bex Hogan
He will make me a killer. Or he will have me killed. That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

9. Hold Back the Tide – Melinda Salisbury
Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140949.950Here are the rules of living with a murderer.

One: Do not draw attention to yourself.

Of course, when you live with a murderer, this is impossible. Even the subtlest of spectres is bound to be noticed. Which leads to the next rule.

Two: If you can’t be invisible, be useful.

Everyone in this quiet lakeside community knows that Alva’s father killed her mother, all those years ago. There wasn’t enough proof to arrest him, though, and with no other family, Alva’s been forced to live with her mother’s murderer, doing her best to survive until she can earn enough money to run away.

One of her chores is to monitor water levels in the loch-a task her father takes very seriously. Their family has been the guardian of the loch for generations. It’s a cold, lonely task, and a few times, Alva can swear she feels someone watching her.

But the more Alva investigates, the more she realizes that the truth can be more monstrous than lies, and that you can never escape your past . . .

Copy of book cover (22)10. Bloodchild – Anna Stephens 
In this epic grimdark conclusion to the Godblind Trilogy, heroes, armies, and gods both good and evil will battle one last time, with the fate of the world itself at stake. . . . The great city of Rilpor has fallen. Its walls have crumbled under the siege by the savage Mireces; its defenders have scattered, fleeing for their lives; its new rulers plot to revive the evil Red Gods using the city’s captured, soon-to-be-sacrificed citizens. Now, with the Fox God leading the shattered remnants of the Rilporian defence and the Mireces consolidating their claim on the rest of the country, it’s up to Crys, Tara, Mace, Dom and the rest to end the Red Gods’ scourge once and for all. While the Rilporians plan and prepare for one final, cataclysmic battle to defeat their enemies, the Blessed One and the king of the Mireces have plans of their own: dark plans that will see gods resurrected and the annihilation of the Dancer for all time. Key to their plan is Rillirin, King Corvus’s sister, and the baby–the Bloodchild–she carries. As both sides face their destinies and their gods, only one thing is clear: death waits for them all.

So those are my favourite books of 2020 so far! I’d love to know what your favourite reads have been in 2020 so let me know in the comments below!

Favourite Books of 2019 (so far!)

Favourite Books of 2019 (so far!)

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Now that we’re over the half way point for 2019 (how is that even possible?!) I thought it would be fun to make a post about my favourite books of the year so far. I’ve seen quite a few people doing this and have loved reading about the books everyone has loved! So far in 2019 I’ve read 67 books, and quite a few of them have been five star reads. So in no particular order here are my favourites!

Copy of book cover (27)1. An Illusion of Thieves – Cate Glass

This is one of my most recent reads and I completely fell in love with this world and the brilliant characters. I read the book in a single day, stealing every possible second to read this book. I  also nearly missed my bus stop because I was so engrossed in the story, but it was totally worth it. I’m so desperate to read the next book in the series.

Copy of book cover (12)2. Impossible Times – Mark Lawrence
This is cheating because it’s technically two books in one. I read both One Word Kill and Limited Wish this year and I adored them both. The characters leap off the page in this action packed, time bending story. It’s fun and you’ll become so attached to the characters, can’t wait to see how it all ends in Dispel Illusion.

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3. Aurora Rising – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it definitely delivered. A bunch of misfits attempting to save the world? What could possibly go wrong. It was full to the brim of action, adventure and witty banter and I honestly couldn’t get enough.

book cover (13)4. The Wicked King – Holly Black
I imagine The Wicked King has made quite a few peoples lists. The ended of this book was just so shocking that I’m still reeling six months later. I love the beautiful writing style and vivid descriptions of the fae world, and not to mention the best enemies to lovers but still enemies depiction I’ve ever seen. Pretty much counting down the days to Queen of Nothing.

book cover - 2019-03-11T211035.2505. The Furies – Katie Lowe
This fierce, dark tale of murder and witchcraft gripped me from the very first page and absolutely did not let go. I got completely swept up in the tale of four young girls and their tale of friendship, sisterhood, lies and vengeance. I don’t think I’ve stopped talking about it since I finished and it’s definitely an all time favourite.

book cover (39)6. Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom – P. M. Freestone
I thought Shadowscent was one of the most unique YA fantasy books I’ve ever read. I loved the idea of a magic system built on scent and I loved the relationship between the two main characters. I flew through the book and I can’t wait to read more from P. M. Freestone.

Copy of book cover (26)7. The Boy With the Porcelain Blade – Den Patrick
This is technically a reread but it has been such a long time since I read it last that it almost felt like a new book. I got completely caught up in this dark fantasy story full of monsters and political intrigue. It’s a quick paced story full of complex characters and I’m so excited to continue my reread because this is definitely one my favourite series.

wicked saints8. Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan
I know this book received quite a lot of mixed reviews but I really enjoyed it. I loved the magic system and the opposing religions fighting for power. I really liked Emily A. Duncan’s writing style and I found it a really quite and enticing read. It was a fascinating tale and I’m hoping that the few kinks will be worked out in the next instalment.

So those are my eight favourite books of 2019 so far! What are your favourite 2019 reads?

2018 Reading Survey!

2018 Reading Survey!

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I saw this tag over at TV Addicted Bookworm and thought it looked really fun so here’s my 2018 reading survey!

Reading Stats

Number of books read: 142
Number of rereads: 18
Pages Read: 44,112
Genre you read most: Fantasy

Questions

book cover (53)1. Best book you read in 2018?
This is such a difficult question! I read so many wonderful books in 2018 but the book that really sticks with me is The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden. It was a beautiful conclusion to one of my favourite series of all time, it made me cry a couple of times and I’m honestly still trying to process it enough to write a full review.
book cover (8)2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?This was probably Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees. I loved her books growing up so I was really excited to dive back into her writing but this one didn’t really click with me. It was a solid 3 star read but I was expecting something more.

Untitled design (97)3. Most surprising book you read (in a good or bad way)?
It definitely has to be Mirage by Somaya Daud. I expected to really enjoy this fantasy/science fiction story with doppelgangers and danger but I didn’t expect to completely fall in love with the story and characters. I need book two now!!

Untitled design (96)4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)?
I’m not sure I really pushed anyone to read any particular book but I did talk a lot and post lots of pictures of The Sisters of the Winter Wood and a few people said they were going to pick it up. It’s such a beautiful story I couldn’t help but shout about it.

book cover (55)5. Best series you started in 2018?

This one is cheating slightly but it probably has to be The Folk of the Air by Holly Black. Technically I read The Wicked King in 2019 but can I started the series in 2018 and can confirm it’s the best thing ever.

book cover (20)Best Sequel?
This is definitely Darksoul by Anna Stephens. I’m a bit obsessed with the Godblind trilogy so this was an eagerly awaited release. I couldn’t put it down and it was a brilliant addition to the series. I just wish I didn’t have to wait for the next one.

book cover (16)Best Series Ender?
I shamefully didn’t finish that many series in 2018. I did finally finish the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and I thought Ruin and Rising was the perfect ending to a series that has absolutely become one of my favourites. 
book cover (62)6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2018?

That would definitely be Jay Kristoff/Ami Kaufman. 2018 saw me finally pick up The Illuminae Files as well as Likelik3 and honestly why did I not read these brilliant books earlier. I’ve since ordered the Nevernight books and I’m already really excited to dive into them.

book cover (50)5. Favourite cover of 2018?
It’s got to go to Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman. This book is gorgeous both inside and out and if you haven’t read it it’s definitely worth getting your hands on a copy because it was a big highlight for me in 2018.

Untitled design (8)6. A book you can’t believe it took you so long to pick up?
Vicious by V. E. Schwab. 2018 was also my introduction to V. E. Schwab but I can’t believe I’d never read Vicious before. It was so dark and addictive and an instant five star read. I really need to get around to reading Vengeful.

book cover (37)7. Which book made you cry in 2018?
The Letters to the Lost series made me sob in both instalments. I tend not to read books that make you cry but I actually read a few that made me shed a few tears. This heartbreaking series that deals with grief and family and dealing with abuse was impossible not to cry at.

book cover (22)8. Most action packed/unputdownable book you read in 2018?
The second instalment in the Raven’s Mark series was an unputdownable book for me. Ravencry was everything I wanted from the next book in the series. It was fast paced, tons of action and adventure and I raced through it because it was so so good.

Untitled design (16)9. Book you read in 2018 you’re likely to re-read in 2019?
I read Katherine Arden’s spooky Halloween middle grade Small Spaces this year and thought it was the perfect October read. It’s pretty short so I think I might make it a tradition to read it every Halloween because it’s a lovely creepy story.

book cover (26)10. Best book from outside your comfort zone?
I don’t read much contemporary fiction and 2018 was the year I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone and read more contemporaries. I read quite a few that I absolutely loved but one surprise was the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series. I’d never had any intention of picking them up because they seemed too romance heavy for me but I binged the entire series and I thought they were brilliant.

Untitled design (6)11. Most memorable character from 2018?
I totally fell in love with Alosa from Tricia Levenseller’s Daughter of the Pirate King. I read both books in this duology and I loved the headstrong and brazen pirate princess. This series is so addictive and I really wanted another instalment of Alosa’s adventures!

Untitled design (75)12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood really sticks out as one of the most beautifully written books of 2018. I completely fell in love with this dreamy historical fiction that brings to life a Gatsby-era romance.
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13. Most thought provoking/life changing book of 2018?
The Feed by Nick Clark Windo was definitely a thought provoking read. An end of the world story after technology goes wrong it really made me think about society and our reliance on technology as well as how addicted we are to our phones. It’s a brilliant story and definitely one that’s stuck with me through 2018.

book cover (59)14. Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2018?
I don’t really do favourite quotes or anything like that but this one from My Sister, the Serial Killer definitely stuck out:

“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.”

Untitled design (58)15. Shortest and longest book you read in 2018?
My shortest was Warm Up by V. E. Schwab – a short story set in the world of Vicious at just 15 pages. The longest book I read was my reread of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at 744 pages.


16. Book that shocked you most?

Resin by Ane Riel. I have no idea what I was expecting with this book but it definitely wasn’t the twisted and spine tingling story that I read.

Untitled design (69)17. Best book you read based on someone else’s recommendation/peer pressure?
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neil was recommended to me by a friend and I was a bit unsure but I’m so glad I picked it up because it’s a beautifully written reimagining of The Little Mermaid where she lives in a brutal patriarchal society.

Untitled design (59)18. Best debut you read?
This one has got to be A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney. This kick ass Alice in Wonderland retelling is so full of action and adventure that it definitely became one of my favourites of the year.

book cover (96)19. Most vivid world building/setting?
For me Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron really stuck out. Set in Edinburgh the story really captured the heart of a city I love so it was brilliant to fall into this book.

book cover (12)20. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?
I laughed so much at The Exact Opposite of Okay. It was a hilarious story and I’m so excited to see what Laura Steven brings out next!

book cover (6)21. Hidden Gem of the year?
I really loved Harley Quinn: Mad Love. This is an all new novel version of Harley’s origin story and it was brilliant to dive into a full length tale of how she becomes one of my favourite comic book characters.

book cover (53)22. Book that crushed your soul?
I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record but The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden. I’m probably never going to get over it.

Untitled design (72)23. Most unique read?
It took me so long to pick up Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Ami Kaufman but I’m so glad I did because the format is completely unlike anything I’ve ever read and I loved ever second of it.

Looking Ahead

 

Untitled design (62)1. One book you didn’t get to in 2018 that is first priority in 2019?
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. I’ve put them off long enough and I really want to get to them before King of Scars comes out because I believe there are potential spoilers!

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2. Book you are most anticipating (non-debut)?

My most anticipated release was The Wicked King by Holly Black. This post went up a little late so I’ve already read it but it was definitely worth the wait. Other than that I’m excited about A Curse so Dark and Lonely and All the Wandering Light!

3. Series ending/sequel you are most anticipating in 2019?
Bloodchild by Anna Stephens. This is the concluding book in the Godblind trilogy and INEEDITNOWW.

4. One thing you hope to accomplish in 2019?
Blog more consistently and try to post at least a few times a week instead of sporadically.


5. A 2019 release you’ve read already and recommend?

Stain by A. G. Howard. A gothic fairytale fantasy story, this book is really beautifully written and I think fans of her work are going to absolutely adore this one.

So that’s my 2018 reading survey! If you did a similar post I’d love to see your bookish stats for the year so send me a link!