Book Review: Sea Witch – Sarah Henning

Book Review: Sea Witch – Sarah Henning

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Series:
Sea Witch #1
Release Date: July 21st 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I was given this book for Christmas.
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

Review

36502054 (1)Sea Witch is the first in a new fantasy series which reimagines the story of The Little Mermaid – but from the perspective of the sea witch. This first instalment is a dark and exciting story, and one that will definitely leave you hungry for more.

Sea Witch follows Evie, the daughter of a Fisherman and her best friend Prince Nik. The two are still reeling from the drowning of their friend Anna several years previously, so when Evie discovers a young woman who looks exactly like Anna, she immediately agrees to help her – but who is this mysterious girl and why does she look so much like the friend that drowned all those years ago?

This story was completely different to what I was expecting. It’s a clever tale that brings a really fresh perspective to a story that has been reimagined so many times before. It’s got plenty of twists and turns and the story is well paced – really allowing you to get to know the characters and the world.

I really enjoyed the setting in this story, the seaside Kingdom, beautiful scenery and twisting waves were all really brought to life in the story. I liked the characters too – they were well fleshed out and I thought Evie made an excellent protagonist. There were some plot points that I felt were a little predictable but I still enjoyed the overall execution of the story. The story jumps in time with each chapter containing a scene relating to the past and the friendship between Anna, Evie and Nik. I really liked this as it gave the reader the opportunity to get to know the characters and see how Evie and Nik cope with the loss of their friend.

The one negative I have about this book is the romance aspect. There are several romances taking place throughout the course of the story and I did feel that there wasn’t all that much to them. I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone so I won’t name characters but the romances felt a bit forced, meaning I had less of an interest in the characters getting together. Despite this I still enjoyed the overall conclusion, and thought the ending was particularly well done.

Sea Witch is a really dark and fascinating tale, and if you’re a fan of retellings, you’re definitely going to want to try this one. There’s a second book coming in August, so you won’t have too long to wait to find out what’s in store next.
4 stars

Book Review: Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan

Book Review: Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan

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Series:
Something Dark and Holy #1
Release Date: April 2nd 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pages: 385
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this book from Wordery.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

Review

wicked saintsWicked Saints is a dark and wild ride of a book! The story follows two warring kingdoms, and the people who will do anything to make sure they are their kingdom are the victors. We follow two people – Nadya, a young woman with divine powers who has lived all her lives in a monastery, and Serefin, a powerful blood mage and High Prince of Tranavia. The two are on opposite sides but are fighting with everything they have for survival.

This book is a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s a dark dark story, full of magic and blood. There are a few trigger warnings for this book, particularly for self-harm so I’d definitely recommend checking that out before picking this up if you feel it might be a problem. The story is full to the brim with adventure, a quest for power and a determination to succeed. It makes for an incredibly intoxicating story, and I definitely didn’t want to put this one down.

I thought the story was really fascinating, and the world building well-constructed. The two kingdoms fighting over religion was really interesting and I thought Duncan breathed some new life into this idea that’s been done many times before. The magic system was really intriguing and I enjoyed learning more about the gods with each chapter.

The story is split into alternating viewpoints with Nadya and Serefin and I actually enjoyed both characters plot arcs equally. I liked Serefin’s back story – the high prince with an incredibly strained relationship with his father – who just wants the war to be over. I did feel like Nadya could have done with a bit more of a back story – it would have been interesting to see more of what life was like in the monastery for her.

Overall the story is well paced, growing more intense and quick as it reaches the climax. There were quite a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, and that certainly made me enjoy the story all the more. I won’t say too much about the ending so that I don’t spoil it for anyone, but I did feel that it was over very quickly. I felt like we were building and building to this big moment and it was over very fast. I am however super excited to see what will happen in the next instalment of the series. There’s already been quite a bit of hype surrounding this book so I can definitely attest that it’s worth it!
5 stars

Top 10 Page to Screen Adaptations I Want to Watch!

Top 10 Page to Screen Adaptations I Want to Watch!

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Today on Top Ten Tuesday we’re talking about page to screen adaptations. I’m forever behind on adaptations so I thought it might be fun to post about some of the ones I’d really like to get around to watching!

MV5BYTMyYmFjYWUtYjMyOS00ZjRlLWIxODUtYjUyYTFkM2ZmMmQxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjg3MDMxNzU@._V1_1. American Gods
This is the number one priority on my list – I keep meaning to watch it and just haven’t got around to it yet but it honestly looks amazing.

Love,_Simon_poster2. Love, Simon
Love, Simon is one where I haven’t seen the movie or even read the book but I’ve heard such amazing things that I really just need to get a copy of the book and then watch the movie straight afterwards.

PetSemataryPoster3. Pet Semetary
I was really looking forward to this adaptation and recently went to the cinema to see it only to discover they weren’t showing it anymore (we went to see Us instead). I did enjoy the recently remake of It (though I had thought it would be scarier). Looking forward to seeing how I get on with Pet Semetary.

download (1)4. The Hate U Give
I think I’m the only person on the planet that hasn’t seen this movie. It did so well and I’m sure it’s brilliant – I just haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet.

download (2)5. The Darkest Minds
I heard sort of mixed things about the movie adaptation to The Darkest Minds so I think that’s part of the reason why I haven’t watched it yet – if you have definitely let me know your thoughts!

download (3)6. A Simple Favour
I saw the movie trailer for this and thought it looked really interesting. When I heard it was based on a book I thought maybe I could read the book first and then see the movie, but here we are having done neither – story of my life.

__58210fe56facc-31865cfa71809608b08852b5b1d0c6adb84ddfd7-f0f0e0e0f0f0c0c07. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
I’ve only read the first book in this series and I haven’t had the chance to see the movie yet, but I absolutely love Eva Green so I’m really keen to see the movie adaptation – and to get around to the rest of the books in the series!

The_Perks_of_Being_a_Wallflower_Poster8.  The Perks of Being A Wallflower
I literally have no excuse for why I haven’t seen this movie. I’ve read the book twice (once fairly recently) and I really want to see how the film compares – maybe I need to have a weekend of binging movie adaptations!

MV5BOTI5Y2M3NmQtNDg5ZC00OTQ0LWEzOGYtMjM4Zjg0YzY0M2I0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjkwNzEwMzU@._V1_9. Good Omens
This one is a slight cheat because it isn’t out yet but it looks incredible and I’m determined this will not be one that takes me four years to watch..

220px-Insurgent_poster10. Divergent series
I have actually seen the first movie in the Divergent series, but not the other two. I did quite like the first film so I’m interested to see how it continues in film form.

So those are the page to screen adaptations I really want to see! What adaptations are you excited to see? And if you’ve seen any good ones recently definitely let me know what you thought!

Six For Sunday: Books I Want to Reread

Six For Sunday: Books I Want to Reread

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This week on Six for Sunday the prompt is books you want to reread! Rereading isn’t something I do very often and there are loads of books I would love to read again.

110596751. A Song of Ice and Fire Series – George R. R. Martin
George R. R. Martin is one my all time favourite authors and I love the A Song of Ice and Fire series so much. I did my dissertation on the female characters in the series and that was the last time I reread them. I’d love to dive into the series again and I’m thinking it might be interesting to listen to them as audio books this time around.

book cover - 2019-04-14T091319.2582. Abhorsen Series – Garth Nix
I have a ton of Garth Nix books that I’ve read over and over as I was growing up and my favourites are definitely the Abhorsen Series and Shade’s Children. It’s been quite a while so I’d love to get my old battered copies out and have another read of them.

30114212 (1)3. See What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt
See What I Have Done is one of those books that I still think about even though it was a few years ago that I read it. An imagining of the story of Lizzie Borden – who was accused of murdering her Father and Stepmother with an axe – it was just such a dark and twisted story. I completely loved this book and I want to read it again to see if my feelings are still the same.

cq4. The Sin Eater’s Daughter Series – Melinda Salisbury
This series broke my heart. I loved each book in this series and it’s definitely still one of my favourites. The world building is superb and I completely adored the characters. The series finished in 2017 so I really need to dive back into the world.

nightingale5. The Winternight Trilogy – Katherine Arden
Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy is (aside from ASOIAF) probably my most beloved series of all time. From book one I knew this was going to be a favourite and I’m so sad that the series finished in December last year. It’s not been that long since the last book was released but I’m really keen to return to the story.

228648426. The Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johansen 
The Queen of the Tearling is a book I read a really long time ago when it first came out. I really loved it and was really excited to read the other books in the series, but for some reason I never got around to it. I really want to read books two and three but I’m definitely going to have to reread The Queen of the Tearling to understand what’s going on.

So those are the six books/series that I would love to reread! What’s on your reread pile?

Waiting on Wednesday: Queen of Nothing – Holly Black

Waiting on Wednesday: Queen of Nothing – Holly Black

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Synopsis

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne. 

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

Thoughts

26032912Today for Waiting on Wednesday I wanted to talk about Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – the third and final book in the Folk of the Air trilogy. I had planned to leave this one until later in the year because the book was due for release in 2020. However with the update that Queen of Nothing has been brought forward for a November release – I couldn’t help but get excited that we are only a few short months away from the conclusion of this series. With the exception of reading The Spiderwick Chronicles as a kid I’ve never read anything by Holly Black until I picked up The Cruel Prince but I absolutely fell in love with her writing style and the magnificent world that she’s built. I know The Cruel Prince has a lot of divided opinions but it is honestly one of my favourite series. I’m sad that it’s going to be the last book but I’m dying to know what’s going to happen next. The first two books have ended on major cliffhangers so I have no idea how it will all turn out. This series is full to the brim with magic, betrayal and the best characters. If you haven’t picked it up yet I’d definitely recommend binging the first two books in the series. The Queen of Nothing is publishing November 19th 2019 from Hot Key Books.

Scallywagathon TBR!

Scallywagathon TBR!

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This is going up slightly late but Scallywagathon is a pirate theme readathon that is happening this week May 5th – May 12th. This time around the theme is pirates in space and the aim of the readathon is to follow a path on the map and complete the associated reading prompt. You can find out lots more about the readathon over at their Twitter!

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So I’m starting with challenge number 5 and following a path from there. These are the books I’ve chosen and I’m so excited to read all of them!

book cover (43)5. Navigate the stars – A book that has stars on the cover.
For this I’m going with The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston. I read and loved Geekarella so I’m really excited for this companion novel!

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

wicked saints7. Blow Down the Man: Read a book by a female author
For this I’m going with Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. I’ve heard incredible things about this and I recently saw someone talking about it saying if you love the Darkling from the Grisha trilogy then you’ll absolutely love this. Can’t wait!
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

book cover (44)C. Afeared – A book you’ve been afraid to read
I’m going with King of Fools by Amanda Foody. I absolutely adored Ace of Shades and I’ve seen a few people say there are some heartbreaking moments in this. I am not prepared.

Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

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.

book cover (45)10. Assessing the booty – Read a recently hauled book.
For this I’m going with Aurora Rising by Ami Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I started yesterday and I’ve already read a big chunk of it – I’m loving it so much.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Book Review: The Fandom Rising – Anna Day

Book Review: The Fandom Rising – Anna Day

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-05-05T100503.166.pngSeries: The Fandom #2
Release Date: May 2nd 2019
Publisher: Chicken House Books
Pages: 278
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Nate’s time is running out. Violet and Katie re-enter The Gallows Dance to rescue him, but when a rogue fanfiction writer emerges online – determined to put the dys back into dystopia – Alice is the only one with the power to save the story …

Review

42768840A few years ago at YALC I was lucky enough to get an ARC of The Fandom and I devoured it. I loved the idea of a group of friends who ended up being transported into the world of their favourite fandom and of course finding out that when they get there it’s even more dangerous than they thought. When I started The Fandom Rising I was so intrigued because I had no idea where the plot was going to go – the first book had reached a satisfying ending and the blurb for The Fandom Rising was very mysterious and vague.

After a few short chapters I was again completely hooked. I really love the characters and it was so fun returning to see how things have changed for them since the events in the first book. It was interesting to see how the dynamics have changed as a result of that’s happened to them, but overall I loved the female friendships and the determination to help Nate.

It was a really exciting, fast paced read. This time around not all the characters are transported into The Gallows Dance and I really enjoyed the two different story ARCS – one with characters trying to survive the deadly dystopian world and the other to get her friends out. A mystery/thriller element was included too as someone begins threatening Alice and I was definitely racing through the pages to find out who was behind it.

The Fandom and The Fandom Rising are a really exciting and enjoyable duology. There were a few shock moments that I definitely didn’t expect and I almost wish there was a third book to keep the story going. If you love being part of a fandom or going to comic con, this is definitely a must read. If you’ve already had a chance to read the first book – I’d highly recommend this sequel.
4 stars