Book Review · Books

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett [BOOK REVIEW]

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett is a book I won through ReadersFirst, published by Corvus. And to be honest, Beneath the World, A Sea wouldn’t have been my first choice, because I don’t often go outside my comfort zone. I am so glad I did though, because I really enjoyed this book a lot!

Synopsis:

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett is a story told mainly by Ben, the policeman. The story is also told from other people’s points of view as well, all connecting to Ben in one way or the other. 

A number of people go on a journey to Submundo Delta, all with different missions and plans in mind. During this trip, they have to go through a place called Nus, where no one can remember their duration of their stay there. 

In Submundo Delta, the people that live there are called Mundinos. However, there are also creatures that live in the forest, called duendes. And the duendes want to get closer to the Mundinos, which results in them getting killed vigorously. 

Ben is sent there to investigate why the local people are killing the duendes. During his investigation, he meets different people and gets a chance to have some weird encounters with the duendes themselves. 

My Thoughts of Beneath the World, A Sea:

Beneath the World, A Sea is very philosophical and deep science fiction, and definitely not for everyone. It touches on many topics, but mostly the topic of self-discovery. Who are we? Who are we really? How do we get to be the person we actually are? Are we hiding any hidden intentions? Are we just performing a play and not letting people see behind the curtain? What if there is a place we can truly be ourselves? And we don’t remember it after? Would we be murderers, or samaritans? 

This book will make you wonder, all while maintaining the story and introducing interesting characters. Ben is trying to discover who he really is, Hyacinth seems to somehow know everything he’s about to experience, Rico has a relationship with the duendes like no one else, Jael is extremely smart but chose to do something else with her life, Justine had her heart broken and never had the courage to leave… Beneath the World, A Sea is a unique experience with fantastical elements in it. It is also very well written, with intriguing plot twists and a very unexpected ending. I especially loved the intrigue that involved a certain diary. It kept me hooked until the very end. 

Even though a very unique and niche book that won’t appeal to all, I warmly recommend it, as I think this is the perfect book to get you out of your comfort zone and take you on a unique adventure.

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Book Review · Books

The Breaking (Northern Witch #3) by K.S. Marsden [BOOK REVIEW]

★★

The Breaking by K.S. Marsden is the third book in the Northern Witch series. Thank you to the author, K.S. Marsden, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read my review of book one – Winter Trials.
Read my review of book two – Awaken.

Synopsis:

Mark thought being a witch would be easy, but it has ruined everything.

Now, he has to fight for his friends and the guy that he loves.

Which would be challenging enough, without school being a living nightmare; more demons than he can handle; and witches that have strayed from the light.

My Thoughts:

Continuing where the previous book left off, The Breaking followed up nicely with the story of Mark trying to save his lover. It is a very heartwarming story that also contains fantastical elements.

I enjoyed that Mark’s friends Harry and Sarah got more time in the book. Their scenes were very interesting to read, and I was really invested in their plotline as well. I loved the moments when the band was in the spotlight – the scene in London when they appear on the stage is my favorite one!

I loved the travel to London and the adventurous spirit that Mark showed, alongside with the suspense and dangers that arose from that trip. The introduction to new witches was intriguing, and I was curious through the whole book. The demons were my favourite, and I couldn’t help but care for them. I think that at some point, I cared more about them than I did about Mark, and I’m not even sorry to say this. 🙂 

To sum up, I wanted a bit more fantastical elements, aside from the demons. I wished there was more magic involved in The Breaking, and I was a slightly disappointed on the cliffhanger at the end of the book. But then I realised another book was coming out, so hoping the next book will conclude some of my predictions. I am hoping for more character development in the next book as well. But I also really enjoyed this book, and I admired the adventures that Mark went through in this book, compared to the first two. There was a bit more intensity and it felt as if there was more at stake this time, and Mark had more to lose, which I loved reading about.

If you love magic, witches and teenage gay romance, I definitely recommend this series to you. 

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik [BOOK REVIEW]

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

I was so excited to read A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik.

A Deadly Education is the first book in the Scholomance series. It was supposed to be everything I love – magic, magical school, a bit of romance. And it left me so disappointed and just empty within. I have no words of how sad I am to be writing this review. I am crushed, but I have to be honest to myself and to the people reading my reviews.

Synopsis:

A Deadly Education is indeed a story about a deadly magical school. This school, Scholomance, is a school for students that are magically gifted. There are no teachers and students are left alone to master skills and attend lessons. They are also forbidden to walk the halls at night, because deadly monsters are lurking from every corner. And the ultimate graduation test is a deadly game of survival by fighting these monsters. 

The students’ magic works based on either mana (the good magic) or malia (the bad magic). 

El is our main character in this book, who can use malia to defeat all the monsters, but that would involve killing the other students. Survival also means working on strategies and making allies with other people.

And then we also have Orion Lake. He has many friends and admirers and he keeps saving El’s life. And she’s not impressed and hates him. 

My Thoughts:

I feel like A Deadly Education was a great idea about a magical school that has a “Hunger Games” type of graduation, but somewhere in the middle the plot got lost and we got a weak story. 

First of all, I hated El. I don’t usually hate characters, but God, I really despised her. Not only was she incredibly rude all the time, but she was very entitled, self-centered and very selfish. I hated the fact that she always thought the world revolved about her. Furthermore, she kept pushing people away, especially her so-called friends and Orion. 

Then we have Orion Lake, who is portrayed as the hero, saving so many lives. Which he is. But he also is this person that can’t speak for himself, and seems like he does whatever other people tell him to do. 

And the romance between them was very non-existent. There wasn’t any form of attraction that I felt, only El’s rudeness. I don’t know how it escalated in the end to a romance, because I didn’t see it. El was even then being rude to him. 

This is such a hard review to write, as I know this book is widely popular. But for me, it didn’t hit the mark in any way. I wish there was more to it than just the deadly monsters and strategies for a graduation that was so talked about. And I wish the romance was real. But I’m still keen to read the second book, just to find out whether it will redeem itself, at least a bit. If you’re looking for a magical school, I’d suggest Hogwarts.

This ain’t it.

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Books · Monthly Tags

June TBR – The TBR Raffle

June TBR The Bane Chronicles Into The Crooked Place Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Nevermoor Dear JOhn The Princess PLan Improvement Julia London Nicholas Sparks J.K. Rowling Cassandra Clare

Hello, my lovelies!

I hope everyone is safe and gliding through the new era of Coronavirus. It is hard to believe that it is June already! I have to admit – I felt useless all month, but at least I got some reading done. Let’s see what My June TBR will bring.

I have read a lot of books in May and will hopefully do a May Wrap Up post as well soon. I have one book left to finish, which will be probably finished by the time I post this blog post, but I also read other reads as well. Let the June TBR raffle commence.

The TBR Raffle

I am filming my TBRs on my Instagram Stories. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, and check out the “Monthly TBR” highlight at the beginning of each month!

My TBR Raffle game is simple: I have a number of prompts that I put in small papers, into a jar. I draw a prompt, and I fit in a book that matches my prompt. Here is a list of the current prompts I have. Feel free to leave any prompt suggestions in the comments. Once the paper is drawn, I put it back into the jar, so it has an equal chance to get drawn again. I draw a total of 8 prompts, which result in 8 books for the month. If I fail to read a book, it automatically goes into the next month.

My June TBR

June TBR The Bane Chronicles Into The Crooked Place Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Nevermoor Dear JOhn The Princess PLan Improvement Julia London Nicholas Sparks J.K. Rowling Cassandra Clare

✨ 1. Borrowed

When Borrowed came up, I chose two books and let my Instagram followers decide which one to pick. The majority chose The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Cassandra Jean. It is a collection of stories about Magnus Bane and I cannot wait to read it.

✨ 2. ReadersFirst

When this prompt comes up, I need to chose a book that was sent to me by the team at ReadersFirst. This is a website where you can read excepts of ARCs, leave a review and win books. For this prompt, I decided to choose I book I had on my shelf since last winter and I am excited about. Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo has magic, betrayal and fantasy and I am looking forward to diving into it.

✨ 3. Fantasy

For this prompt, I decided to read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, the fourth book in the series. I think this is the book where things get darker and more dangerous, and I am extremely excited to get back to my comfort read with Harry, Hermione and Ron. On the subject of J.K. Rowling, I am also currently reading her newest children’s book – The Ickabog, as the chapters are being published.

✨ 4. My Pick

At first I thought I will choose a book during the month, as I feel like it, but then I decided to share it with you on Instagram, to choose for me. And the title was The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend. I have wanted to read this book for a very long time and I cannot wait!

✨ 5. Re-Read

When re-read came up, I had a lot of difficulty choosing a book. I had to go for Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. I used to love romance and I haven’t been too keen to it lately, so I decided to pick up a book that made me love romance in the first place, and who else if not Nicholas Sparks.

✨ 6. Romance

For my romance prompt, I chose The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding #1) by Julia London. It is a love story with a princess in it, and I am excited to read it. This book was sent to me by the team at Mills & Boon.

✨ 7. ReadersFirst

For the second prompt of a book I received through ReadersFirst, I chose Improvement by Joan Silber. It has been on my shelf for a long time, and I feel like I am in the mood for it this month.

✨ 8. Sent by Author

I was hoping to receive this prompt, and I am quite happy. I have chosen a book that I had on my shelf for the longest. By The Feet of Men by Grant Price is a post-apocalyptic novel and sounds very intriguing.

Extra

June TBR

 

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

I will be participating in the Blog Tour, organised by the HQ Team. Expect my review on 25th June. My Wives is a domestic thriller about a man who has three wives, who don’t know each other. Yet.

And that’s my June TBR.
Make sure to follow me on Instagram, so you can stay up to date with my current updates during the month.
What are you planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review · Books

The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) by Andrzej Sapkowski [BOOK REVIEW]

The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) by Andrzej Sapkowskl Gollancz books book review books blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

For me, The Last Wish is the perfect introduction to start the Witcher series and meet Geralt of Rivia.

Synopsis

The Last Wish is the prequel to the Witcher series. In this book we are introduced to Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher – a man whose magic powers and strength training made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. 

However, Geralt is not an ordinary killer. He hunts the monsters that bring fear to people and creatures that attack the innocent. 

But not everything is as seems, as some monsters are not evil, and not everything fair is good. In every fairy tale, there is a pinch of truth.

My Thoughts:

I loved the introduction of Geralt in this book. I have known Geralt from the video games, and then I watched the TV Show. Usually I am more attracted to the book characters rather than a movies/TV Show character, and this was no different. Even though, I have to admit that the video games and the TV Show are also extraordinary, when it comes to their characters. Geralt in this book is vivid and brave, and I was happy to follow him on the various adventures he went on. 

The book is written in multiple chapters, each containing a call for a quest, and the following chapter containing the quest itself. Each quest is a completely different topic, all featuring Geralt, and many side characters joining him as we move along in the story. 

Each chapter was magical on its own, and we get to meet various stories. We meet a girl that turned to a striga because of a curse. We encounter a beast hidden in a castle, a story that resembles the Beauty and the Beast. There are also stories that resemble the Snow White and Cinderella, all significantly darker and much more graphic in their retellings. I love how the author took those storylines and managed to create something much more sinister and cruel. Some of the stories also reminded me of the traditional Slavic folk tales, which brought back some nice feelings from my childhood too. 

The last few chapters were the ones I enjoyed the most. Especially the moment when we get to meet Yennefer for the very first time. I cannot wait to read more about her in the books. 

A truly beautiful and adventurous fantasy novel by Andrzej Sapkowski and published by Gollancz. I definitely recommend The Last Wish. 

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