Book Review, Books

Captain Hook: Villain or Victim by Ellwyn Autumn

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★★★

Has it ever occurred to you that there might be another version to Peter Pan’s story? Would you want to see Captain Hook’s point of view? If so, then you will truly enjoy this lovely short read: Captain Hook: Villain or Victim by Ellwyn Autumn.

I have always loved Peter Pan and this fairy tale is without a doubt my favourite fairy tale. The world is unique, and the story is amazing. Maybe Peter Pan was the reason I was always so in love with England. I will never know.

When Ellwyn introduced me to her book, I knew I had to have it. I had to read it and find out what Captain Hook’s story might be. The book is quite short, but full of adventures throughout. We follow the journalist, David J. Locke, who sails through the seas searching for Captain Hook. When he finally gets a clue, he dives into the story of Captain Hook and discovers truths that have never been told before.

Even though there were times when the Captain Hook’s story seems like a side-story to David J. Locke’s adventures, it was a pleasure to read it, and I read it in one sitting. The book keeps you interested throughout, and the fiction of the re-telling is quite smart and uniquely thought through. I am very happy that I read this book! I would recommend it to all of you that love retellings and love fairy tales.

A huge thank you to Ellwyn Autumn, for sending me a paperback copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review, Books

The Devil’s Apprentice – Kenneth B. Andersen

 

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★★★★★

Possibly the best Young-Adult Fantasy I have read this year. Enter and discover Hell and see how it works, meet the Devil and learn why we need evil in order to be good! A fantastic story and great adventures await in Hell. Read this at your own risk!

I was lucky enough to receive the first two books of The Great Devil War Series by the author himself. I haven’t heard about Kenneth B. Andersen before, but after reading the synopsis, I knew I had to have these books – I knew I had to read the whole series. Starting with the Devil’s Apprentice. 

Meet Phillip – he is a good boy. An angel. He helps his mum with the chores, he helps his friends with their homework, he loves and takes care of animals, and he never lies. But one day, he is sent to Hell by mistake, and he has to become the Devil’s Apprentice. The Devil is ill and before he dies he has to make sure to teach Phillip the worst tricks in Hell’s history, and teach him to be evil – but Phillip is simply terrible at being bad and keeps failing all his tests.

With very little time left to teach Phillip everything, Phillip begins to make friends and enemies in this place. And on top of it all – someone might want the Devil’s throne for themselves…

I loved this book so much! The best thing about it is the setting. We enter a world and we get to see Hell through Phillip’s eyes. Everyone has their own place and role, there is a system of how they designate people and where they go – we meet Death and see the process of how he chooses who dies, and how they place people in either Heaven or Hell, depending on the actions people take throughout their lives, and also, how the Devil throws the dice as well.

Phillip is a typical boy, who goes to school, tries to be a good boy wherever he can. I loved Phillip’s character and could easily relate to him. When he gets in an unusual place, he begins to wonder, and discover and explore, and the way the author writes the scenes just keep you engaged in the book and you can’t put it down before you know what happens next.

The world in Hell is full of adventures, different creatures, lots of scenes where we can’t help but wonder what does ‘’EVIL’’ actually mean, and is it really true that we do need a little bit of evil in order to see the good in ourselves and others? Many moral messages are discovered through Phillip’s adventures, and I loved seeing him grow throughout the book. He keeps learning things and he kept growing. Do you really need to be evil to succeed in Hell?  

I am so glad I have read this book, and I can’t wait to read the second book. If you enjoy Young-Adult fantasy, and enjoyed Dante’s Inferno, this book will probably be something you might enjoy. It will make you giggle, make you wonder, and will leave you restless, page after page.

Until next time! x

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Book Review, Books

A Court Of Thorns And Roses (A Court Of Thorns And Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas [BOOK REVIEW

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★★★★★

Here I am people! I can hang out with the cool kids now that I’ve read the book. It felt like I was hiding in a cave until now, refusing to read Sarah J. Maas, thinking the hype is too forced. But to be honest, this book surprised me a lot. I enjoyed it with all my heart, and even though I wouldn’t cry and scream over it, I am very pleased that I read it, and I just can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

A Court of Thorns And Roses is a story about a young lady, Feyre, who is a huntress and goes out in the woods to hunt food. The more she hunts, the better her family can eat. And when one day she kills a wolf, she learns the hard way that killing a magical creature has its price…

She is imprisoned in an enchanted court and she is free to walk around, but not allowed to escape. The creature that captures her is a beast with fighting skills, with a mask on his face and piercing eyes that make her heart beat fast.

As Feyre starts to grow warmer about Tamlin, danger lies nearby and secrets are all over the place, and Tamlin and his kind might not be who she thought they were.

Fighting to break a curse that might make her lose her true love forever, Feyre must fight with all her forces, but she is just a weak human in this faerie world. Will she be able to make it?

I have to start with mentioning that the beginning was extremely slow and I was almost on the point of asking all of these people why they love this book so much. But once the plot started revealing itself, and a few twists happened straight away, I was glued to my sofa, reading page after page.

It gives us a slight resemblance of the Beauty and the Beast, even though the plot is quite different. There is a powerful beast who locks the girl, and they fall in love, but there is so much more twists, adventures and danger that I can’t compare them beyond that.

I loved Feyre, for the fierce woman she is. I loved the fight she had in herself, despite being a tiny human in a world of powerful magical creatures. I loved the fact that she would stand up for what she believes in, no matter the consequences, though sometimes, quite recklessly done.

I loved Tamlin, and his warmth despite his cold appearance. The way he cared for Feyre was so heartwarming and cute. The love they feel for each other, and those scenes that made me cry – I will cherish that!  

I am not sure how I felt about the ending – it was a bit forced, and too soppy, but it opened a space for another book, which I will be reading soon.

A wonderful magical tale, a fierce woman, a fiercer love, and even fiercer danger, this one won’t let you sleep at night, and it will haunt you to find answers. A true masterpiece!

Let’s talk – Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses? Did you enjoy it? Have you read anything else from Sarah J. Maas?

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Book Review, Books

The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★ (3.8 ★, to be exact)

Sometimes, we enter a library, not really knowing what we are looking for. One day, I entered the library, only to return a few books. Instead, I returned with two more. The first one didn’t impress me, but the second one was this book –The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. I only picked it up, because I liked the cover. And I know, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I guess the magic worked on me this time around.

This book featured six stories, all six magical and beautiful in their own way. Some attracted me more, some a bit less, but I, overall, feel delighted to have read this book. I haven’t read Leigh’s previous books, so I didn’t know about this world before, but these are apparently the same woods featured in those books as well.

I will give a brief opinion on all stories, and the main rating will be the average from them all. Let’s go.

1. Ayama and the Thorn Wood – ★★★★

‘’Interesting things only happen to pretty girls.’’

A beautiful tale that will show you how beauty comes from within. The King and Queen have two sons – one is a beautiful man, the future king, and the other one is a monster. They are scared and ashamed of the monster-boy, and let him live his life in the labyrinth they made for him. In the village, in a poor family, there are two daughters, one as beautiful as the sun, and the other one ugly. When the monster escapes the labyrinth and starts ruining fields and make disasters, everyone is scared to go and talk to him and beg for forgiveness, so the ugly lady is sent to her woods – quite certain she will never return…

‘’This little prince was shaped a bit like a boy but more like a wolf, his body covered in slick black fur from crown to clawed foot. His eyes were red as blood, and the nubs of two budding horns protruded from his head.’’

2. The Too-Clever Fox – ★★★★

‘’Freedom is a burden, but you will learn to bear it.’’

I loved this story the most, out of all six of them. It reminded me of home, and of how we tell stories back there. The whole ‘’Once Upon a Time’’ is real, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The winter theme, the hunting, the girl and the fox. This is a story that will teach you to not be assured you can outsmart everyone. Foxes in stories have always been presented as the smart ones, outsmarting every animal in the woods. This reminds me of Aesop’s Tales, which I really loved as a little girl. But sometimes, you will get outsmarted, and it might cost you your life. The twist was definitely unexpected, but indeed satisfying.

3. The Witch of Duva – ★★★

A story where girls disappear, and one girl decides to go into the woods and try to figure out why. This story upset me, and I didn’t like it. But deep inside, it’s a good one. Very creepy though, and very horror-y, but worth reading. Turn the lights off, get under a blanket, turn your torch on, and only then you will be ready to know the deep secrets this story tells you.

4. Little Knife – ★★★★

The shortest story in the book, but by all means not the least intriguing. A story that features a woman that is too beautiful, that men lose their mind as soon as they see her. To get the chance to marry her, men will have to go through a various of tasks. The twist at the end is incredible, and I really liked it. It starts off as a usual story, but it goes wild.

5. The Soldier Prince – ★★

This was a story I enjoyed the least. It all screamed ‘’The Nutcracker’’ to me, and I couldn’t see it as original. It was a re-make, and it was very different that the story we know, but it just didn’t work for me. This is a story about a man who makes toys and gives them life. And when one toy sort of ‘’wakes up’’, interesting things start to happen. Quite a creepy story. I usually like those, but this one was not my cup of tea.

6. When Water Sand Fire – ★★★★

‘’ We were not made to please princes.’’

This one is the longest story in the book. It features a world of creatures living underwater, and Ulla, who can sing and create magic, but who, as the people believe, is not a true born, but a mix between the underwater world and the humans. She is asked to help the prince become a king, but when the magic price is too high to paid, it doesn’t seem like she has a choice. I truly enjoyed this story, as it’s a beautiful mix of emotions while you read it. It was a bit disappointing that it seems as a remake of the creation of the character of Ursula from The Little Mermaid, at least to me.

Have you read this book, or any of Leigh Bardugo’s books? Let me know in the comments, I love to chat with you!

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Book Review, Books

The Psychology of Time Travel – Kate Mascarenhas [BOOK REVIEW]

The Psychology of Time Travel Kate Mascarenhas book review books blog diary of difference diaryofdifference goodreads netgalley arc novel publisher crooked lane books penguin uk england amazon bookblog reading

★★★

I love the idea of time travelling and I love the idea of time travelling books. That is the main reason why I chose to read this ARC copy. The synopsis sounded intriguing, and the cover was gorgeous. I don’t have much experience reading time travelling books. I still believe the synopsis is intriguing and the cover is gorgeous, but I am not satisfied with the feelings this book left me, after I read the last chapter.

The story begins when four ladies in the early 1960s work together and build the first time travel machine. And they are surrounded by curious people and media, and one of them has a breakdown and is expelled from the project, as she is a risk to herself and others. But they don’t just exclude her from their project, but from their whole lives, and time travelling altogether.

”Sometimes we want proximity and a crowd gives us the excuse.”

And many years after, when time travelling is something everyone knows about, secrets start to be revealed, little by little, and a murder happens without explanation. A few young women, completely unrelated and with different missions will try to get their way into the whole time-travel business, and try to figure the answers to their questions.

In The Psychology of Time Travel, one is certain – you will flow through time and places like never before. One chapter it’s 1967, and the next one, it’s 2015. You will meet a lady and her young self, her old self, and her current self, all at one place, talking to each other, or simultaneously performing a dancing act. You will get to see a world very well created, a complex structure of how time travel might work, and details that you wouldn’t thought of checking twice.

I couldn’t connect to any character. Maybe there were too many. The chapters were very short, and they travelled through years so quickly, that I couldn’t catch up. Catching up with the plot of a book, and figuring out what is going on while being presented things so fast is very frustrating. It’s like watching a movie in a foreign language, the subtitles being your only way of gathering information, and they disappear instantly, without you having a chance to understand.

The romance in this book was another thing that bothered me. While we get a lot of romantic relationships going around, one particularly threw me off my feet. A love story where one girl is in love with another. This is the completely realistic part. But the unrealistic one was that one girl lives in the present, and the other is a time-traveller in the past – so even though they are currently (technically) the same age, in reality one is in the mid 20s, and the other in the mid 80s. I couldn’t process this, or agree with it.

”You couldn’t get involved with someone who spent most of their life in a different time period from you.”

I am sure I would have loved the characters, have I had more chances to get to know them. They showed signs of bravery, and goals and hopes for a better tomorrow, with a spark unlike any others. But it all lasted so short, before we switched to another character, and so on.

Even though this one didn’t work for me – I still encourage you to give it a go, if you are a fan of time travel. The idea of time travelling is very well done, and deserves to be discussed.

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books, for providing me an ARC copy of The Psychology of Time Travel in exchange for an honest review.

Here’s to better books, and here’s to a better tomorrow! 

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