Book Review · Books

By The Feet Of Men by Grant Price [BOOK REVIEW]

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By the Feet of Men by Grant Price is a very good post-apocalyptic novel, full of adventures and danger. I am glad I got the chance to read and review this book. Thank you to the author, Grant Price, for sending me a copy of his book in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where the world’s population has been decimated by the Change, a chain reaction of events triggered by global warming. Governments have fallen and cities have crumbled. The productions have stopped. The Alps region, which contains the continent’s fresh water, has become a closed state with heavily fortified borders. 

The ones that managed to survive cling on by trading through the Runners, truck drivers who deliver cargo and take a percentage. Two Runners, Cassady and Ghazi are called to deliver medical supplies to a research base deep in the Italian desert, where scientists claim to be building a machine that could reverse the effects of the Change.

On this journey they will be joined by a collection of other Runners, all of whom have something to prove and have a story of their own. Standing in their way are starving nomads, crumbling cities, hostile weather and a rogue state set to destroy the convoy. And there’s another problem: Cassady is close to losing his nerve. 

My Thoughts: 

The world building in By the Feet of Men is very interesting and very well described, especially the part about the Change and the Koalition. From the beginning, we get a very good idea of what kind of world we are living in now, from global warming, to the starving nomads, to how the Runners make a living. I think that was a very good introduction to the new normal that we are about to engage in. 

I think perhaps due to the elaborate description, I found the beginning quite slow. The true adventure and road trip doesn’t start until halfway through the book. Once the adventure begins, though, many things happen in short spaces of time. The pacing is quite fast until the very end. The book contains brutal and graphic details, so it may contain a lot of trigger warnings and I wouldn’t recommend it for the faint hearted people. 

I loved Cassady and Ghazi and really enjoyed their backstories.

The way how they made decisions based on their past experiences, which were sometimes very different. I love the constant battle they seem to have between what is right and wrong, when a decision has to be made quite fast to ensure their survival. Sometimes, their survival might mean leaving someone behind, and not both of them would agree that this is the right decision to be made. However, I think there is something much more difficult than making such a decision, and that’s living with the consequences. 

Apart from the main characters, I had a very hard time remembering the other characters and their backstories. This made me annoyed a few times. I am very good at remembering side characters, and I usually prefer them to the main characters. However. this wasn’t the case for this book. And this is something that really bothers me. 

I was quite intrigued about the ending.

I enjoyed it and I liked how it ended. My initial thoughts were that it was very realistic. It also had an ending that I haven’t seen too much explored in any post-apocalyptic fiction I’ve read or seen. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of explanation to some points. However, I think the main characters’ stories and experiences in the end of the book contributed to a balanced and emotional ending.

I definitely recommend By the Feet of Men to all fans of post-apocalyptic fiction. Something new and fresh, unexplored anywhere else and full of adventure and realistic brutality. I am sure you will enjoy it.

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Book Review · Books

The Turning Point (The ELI Chronicles #3) by Julia Ash [BOOK REVIEW]

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The Turning Point by Julia Ash is the third book in the ELI Chronicles. Thank you to Julia, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Read my reviews of the first two books in the series: 

  1. The One and Only
  2. The Tether

The Turning Point continues where the previous book left off. If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, I would recommend reading my review on the first book – The One and Only, as this review contains spoilers from the other two previous books. Now that you have been warned, I can safely continue. 🙂 

Ruby Spencer has continuously saved the world.

First, it was the zombie infection. Then, she was turned into a vampire against her will. In the first book we found out her blood was special, and in the second book – we find out why. Her blood was a result of a donor from another planet, which she ended up saving in the second book. And this time – the planet needs help again. But also this time – Ruby might not be the one that can save it. 

Because the animals have their own language, and Ruby cannot understand it. If she could understand them, she would know that they are tired of being puppets to the humans and the vampires. And wolves are more than happy to lead this rebelion. 

Without an alpha that can fight for their rights and lead their uprising, the animals will destroy everything in front of them. Ruby is the only one who can connect the animals with their rightful king – is she could only find him.

I have to admit, I struggled a bit at the beginning, when at one point we were introduced to all the different creatures and abilities (zombies, vampires, sculpting, werewolves, multiple planets, search for the true king). While the first and second book were more focused on one part of the story, in this book we had all of the different aspects colliding into one. And despite my struggles at the beginning, it all worked out in the end.

I really loved this book, and it was a perfect last book to conclude this series.

The ending was beautiful and I enjoyed the final few twists, where you couldn’t trust anyone. I loved the love this family had for each other, and how kind and generous they always are. They care so much for each other, it’s really nice to read it. It was such an adventurous ride, and I was eager to know how it ended. I am also glad they gave Zagan another chance to prove he changed, and that he deserves another chance at life.

If you have read my previous reviews – you will know me and Clay don’t really get along. But this book changed my opinion a bit, and I actually ended up liking his character and his story in this book. (surprise, surprise). 

The ELI Chronicles, as a whole, is a series not only about zombie apocalypse, vampires, werewolves, rightful kings and special abilities, but also a story about the true power of one family, and their love for each other. Julia Ash managed to combine these two things into the books so well, and make this journey not only adventurous, but also heartwarming.

And I have to say – I am glad that I am part of it by reading this series.

I am glad I have experienced this book, and grown together with it. Thinking of where I was on my journey when I started the first book, and where I am now, I can understand and appreciate this story way more and connect better with it. Definitely a must-read for all fans of sci-fi, adventure and thrillers.

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Book Review · Books

Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place #1) by Alexandra Christo [BOOK REVIEW]

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Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo was a book I was very excited to read in the first place.

There is magic and potions, there is romance and adventure. The hype around it was huge, and it is still talked about in the bookish community.

What’s not to like?

Tavia sells magic potions on the market. One day, she is ordered to sell a new magic potion. When her friend Saxoni drinks the new potion, something bad happens. The potion makes people do terrible things – and Tavia and Saxoni need to stop it, before it destroys everyone!

The storytelling in this book was amazing. I was immediately teleported to a world where going to a market to buy a love potion is normal. I could connect with all characters immediately, and wanted to know more about them. The story is told from multiple character’s points of view, which I found appropriate for this story. 

Apart from Tavia and Saxony, we also meet Wesley – who is Tavia’s underboss. He is the one that she follows orders from, and he is the one to grant her her freedom, once she earns it by working for him. 

“There are no good people, he said. Just ones who haven’t made bad choices yet.”

We also meet Karam – a feisty warrior woman, who is fighting in pits for money. Karam is a character that I instantly liked, for her bravery and her free spirit. She knows who she is, she knows how she got there, and she knows exactly what she wants. 

“She had fought her way to her position and hadn’t needed prayer or magic to do it. Just her fists and her smarts and the knowledge that she could.”

I liked Karam and she was probably my favorite character.

I think that her journey was the most adventurous compared to all the other characters, and I feel like she’s grown the most. 

“She felt at home. And she knew why. She knew then that home could be anywhere, because it wasn’t a place, but a feeling. It was made up of people, not bricks, and it was something you could create for yourself, just like family.”

The legacy that Karam and Saxony carry is very conveniently revealed. The author only revealed this when it was needed in the book, to fit a certain situation and prompt plot twists. This wasn’t something I enjoyed, and together with how the book ended, it did leave a bitter aftertaste. I think I would have liked the book more if certain reveals were handled better, and the ending was more interesting.

“Sometimes, words spoken in anger are not words spoken in truth, dila.”

To sum everything up, I still think Into the Crooked Place was amazing and enjoyable.

I enjoyed being in this magical world and I enjoyed the adventures the characters went through. If you’ve been reading my reviews, you will know I love a good versus evil battle, and this book did indeed have that. Would I change the ending? Yes. Would I change the way the reveals were handled? Yes. But was this still an amazing book? Most definitely. If you love young-adult magic and adventure books – you will enjoy this one! 

Thank you to the teams at Hot Key Books and ReadersFirst, for sending me a copy of this book. Into the Crooked Place is the first book in the series. The second book is called City of Spells, and is expected to come out in 2021. 

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Book Review · Books

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K. Rowling [BOOK REVIEW]

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Diving into the Harry Potter universe is a treat to my soul every time.

There is something so familiar and comfortable to this world, especially Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, that always pulls me back to where it all started. 

Read my reviews of the previous Harry Potter books: 

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Since there is a lot of drama going on with the author at the moment, I want to say just this. While I do not agree with some of the author’s statements, her work meant a lot to me throughout my years, and I have chosen to draw a line between her personal life and her work. You may have a different opinion, and that is valid too. 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling is one of my favorite books from the series.

The year is filled with the Quidditch World Cup, the Triwizard Tournament, the fight for elves’ freedom, the beginning of the rising of evil and the terrible destiny of Cedric Diggory. 

Harry has a weird dream about Voldemort at the beginning of the book. He lets Sirius Black know in a letter. Then, he and his friends, as well as the whole Weasley family attend the Quidditch World Cup, where there is an incident with Harry’s wand – that will start this book in a very dark way.

As the new school year of Hogwarts begins, Dumbledore has an exciting announcement to make. Hogwarts will be hosting the Triwizard tournament this year!

“The Triwizard Tournament was first established some seven hundred years ago, as a friendly competition between the three largest European schools of wizardry – Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. A champion was selected to represent each school, and the three champions competed in three magical tasks. The schools took it in turns to host the Tournament once every five years, and it was generally agreed to be a most excellent way of establishing ties between young witches and wizards of different nationalities – until, that is, the death toll mounted so high that the Tournament was discontinued.”

When the Goblet of Fire selects the three champions for each house, everyone is ready to move on. Viktor Krum, from Durmstrang, was selected first, followed by Fleur Delacour of Beauxbatons. The Goblet selected Cedric Diggory as the Hogwarts Champion.

But then, the Goblet spits out one more name – Harry Potter!

But how is that possible, when Harry hasn’t put his name in?

“Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?” Dumbledore asked calmly. 

Careful of the fact that someone wants Harry to be in danger, he still needs to compete in the three tasks of the tournament. I loved all three tasks and how smart some wizards had to be to overcome their challenges.

I also really loved the Yule Ball, and the atmosphere it had. Everyone seemed happier and forgot their worries for the evening. Things were calming down before the real storm began. 

The part I loved the most, which wasn’t included in the movies, was Harmione’s fight for the rights of the elves. She fought that they deserved to be free and be paid for their work, not be slaves to witches and wizards. On top of all this, what I loved most was Dobby’s story in this whole situation.

Also, did you know this?

Hermione’s name is pronounced “Her-my-oh-nee”. I have somehow always known this at the back of my mind, but because it’s pronounced as “Her-my-nee” in the movies, I have been saying it like that for a very long time. 

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

Still a favourite and still amazing. After all this time? Always! 

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”

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Book Review · Books

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter #1) [BOOK REVIEW]

Harry Potter and the philisopher's stone sorcerer's voldemort ron weasley hermione granger j.k. rowling fantasy magic adventure hogwarts love friends friendship book books review blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

It is so hard to write a book review for a book you have known and loved all your life. I think that every praise I have to say here has already been said before. I remember watching the first Harry Potter movie with my family, my aunts and cousins in the cinema. In Macedonia at that time, this was a big deal. My auntie and cousin have already read the books, and they already had their collection set. And I knew I was also going to have my own collection when I grow up.

That is the beginning of how this series became a part of my life. 

Harry Potter followed me through my primary school and then in high school as well. I met friends that also loved the series and we formed a bond similar to what Harry, Ron and Hermione have. We weren’t too much of a trouble makers, but we did know to fight when we thought something was not fair. 

From the very first scene, to the mention of each character, a shiver ran down my spine, of excitement and nostalgia of a world that was always part of me, even though I’ve never been physically there. A world that has accepted me and a place I could always call home when there was nowhere else to turn. 

Reading the book now again, I re-visited moments I never thought I have forgotten: 

  • the list of books and items a first-year student needs. This time, I even made a list of all the fictional books mentioned, and will try to find and read those as well. 
  • the engraved poem when entering the Gringotts Bank. 

Enter Strange, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn,
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.

  • the family bond of the Weasleys, alongside with the love their mother has for them and their cheeky jokes. I wish I could visit them on a Sunday afternoon and have a Sunday Roast at their place – it would be such a warm atmosphere with lots of giggles.

‘Can’t stay long, Mother,’ he said. ‘I’m up front, the Prefects have got two compartments to themselves -’
‘Oh, are you a Prefect, Percy?’ said one of the twins, with an air of great surprise. ‘You should have said something, we had no idea.’
‘Hang on, I think I remember him saying something about it,’ said the other twin.
‘Once -’
‘Or twice -’
‘A minute -’
‘All summer -’
‘Oh, shut up,’ said Percy the Prefect. 

***

‘Now you two – this year, you behave yourselves. If I get one more owl telling me you’ve – you’ve blown a toilet or -’
‘Blown up a toilet? We’ve never blown up a toilet.’
‘Great idea though, thanks, Mum.’
‘It’s not funny. And look after Ron.’
‘Don’t worry, ickle Ronniekins is safe with us.’
‘Shut up,’ said Ron.

  • The Sorting Hat scene and the poem where the houses are explained.
  • The train scene where Harry, Ron and Hermione meet each other for the first time. I was reading this scene and I was like: “You’ll all be best friends and you don’t know it yet!
  • Dumbledore – how mysterious he is this whole book! It makes you want to keep reading the other books, because you know you will get to know him better! 
  • Neville Longbottom and his bravery! 

There are all kinds of courage.’ said Dumbledore, smiling. ‘It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.’

Harry Potter will forever be part of my childhood and have an impact on my life as an adult. I will forever cherish this fictional world and I will never get over the fact that when I was eleven years old, I never got the mail from Hogwarts. Maybe they didn’t deliver mails to Macedonia 😀 

It will be my favourite children’s book forever. After all this time? Always.

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