Book Review · Books

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon [BOOK REVIEW]

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon [BOOK REVIEW]

I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. When I picked the book up, I knew I was looking at an international bestseller, but I still had my doubts. Well, not anymore…

About The Book:

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 452

Format I read it in: Paperback

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★

Synopsis:

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

My Thoughts:

The Bone Season gripped me from the start. Literally from the first chapter, I was alongside Paige, getting to know her clairvoyance as she’s discovering it herself. Paige is a character that you want to root for, but you also want to understand the other side, just to ensure she’s making the right decisions. Meeting the gang in the underworld of Scion London gave me an introduction of the dystopian world that Paige lives in. Clairvoyant people are being imprisoned left, right and centre, and when something goes horribly bad for Paige, she discovers that it could be much, much worse. And somehow she managed to end up there.

“I fitted with these people. They understood the strangeness of my world, a world I was only just beginning to discover.”

The world building in this book is on another level.

Samantha Shannon created a world with different orders of Clairvoyance. On top of that, she created dystopian cities and a different type of creatures that have a role to play as well. Through Paige, we meet so many vivid characters, all unique and lovable in their own way.

I loved the chapters when Paige would reminisce about her past. It helped me understand her so much better and it ties very well with the story in the present. I also loved how the parts with the past tie into the plot to create a plot twist in itself. I feel like every scene was created the way it was with a certain purpose. To serve a bigger role and to tie into the plot in one way or another. But it never felt as if a scene was written just for the sake of it.

One of my favourite parts in this book were the parts focusing on emotion.

There isn’t a romance in this book, so to speak. But there were moments of building connections. Of building trust. Times of sharing experiences, memories and big heartbreaks. But all these moments were an addition to a friendship that turned into a little bit more. It only complimented a personality, rather than become a main focus of the story, which made these moments even more special.

“I didn’t believe in hearts. I believed in dreamscapes and spirits. Those were what mattered. Those made money. But my heart had hurt that day. For the first time in my life, I’d been forced to acknowledge my heart, and acknowledge its fragility. It could be bruised. It could humiliate me.”

And that ending… When that ending happened, it shattered me in a very delicate way. I grieved for one reason, but felt joy for another. The bittersweet taste is still between my fingers, feeling it as I was closing the last pages. But there is one thing for sure – this story doesn’t end here and I’ll sure as hell read the next book in the series.

About The Author:

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon [BOOK REVIEW]

Samantha Shannon studied English Language and Literature at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. The Bone Season, the first in a seven-book series, was a New York Times bestseller and the inaugural Today Book Club selection.

Her next novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, was published in February 2019 and became a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in London.

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Book Review · Books

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth [BOOK REVIEW]

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth [BOOK REVIEW]

Before I dive into the lengthy review of Divergent by Veronica Roth, I have to say one thing. I truly need to stop watching the movie adaptations before I read the books. It happened with the Divergent series. Then it continued with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. It also happened with The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. I need a special app that won’t let me watch a movie adaptation, unless that book title is on my “Read” shelf in Goodreads.

About The Book:

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth [BOOK REVIEW]


Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s

Pages: 487

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★★

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Tris is forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit.

So she ventures out alone, determined to discover where she truly belongs. Shocked by her brutal new life Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.

The hardest choice lies ahead.

My Thoughts:

Even having watched the movie first, Divergent was such a fun experience. I loved diving into this dystopian world, getting to know Tris. I wish I read it sooner. This book just proves that Young-Adult fantasy is still a favourite genre of mine, no matter how much older I get.

The factions were really interesting to me, and I was curious to see which faction I would belong to. Funnily enough, I am pretty sure I am a Divergent. And also, I think actually, all of us are too. You can never really fit into just one faction. We all carry a little bit of every trait, one more than the other. Humans are also curious by nature. We want to explore different things, learn new things. Our choices, wishes and goals in life also change all the time. And I loved how Veronica Roth took this topic, this ideam and expanded it into its extreme. By that, giving us a dystopian world with a brave female lead.

“Working together, these five factions have lived in peace for many years, each contributing to a different sector of society. Abnegation has fulfilled our need for selfless leaders in government; Candor has provided us with trustworthy and sound leaders in law; Erudite has supplied us with intelligent teachers and researchers; Amity has given us understanding counselors and caretakers; and Dauntless provides us with protection from threats both within and without.”

I especially loved Tris’s journey with the Dauntless. Also her dilemmas, and the need for her to make a choice of what feels right and what people expect of her to do. I was also very in love with Four. He is my book crush right now, and I cannot help, but adore him.

“We believe in the ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”

Everything about the book, from storylines, to world building, to character development was so well executed. Every little thing had its own meaning, nothing felt excessive or out of place. It gripped me from the very beginning and kept me hooked until the very end. I still have to buy and read the rest of the series, and I cannot wait to start the next book.

I definitely recommend you pick this up if you love dystopian fantasies. Divergent is popular for a very good reason, and definitely deserves the hype.

About The Author:

Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Divergent series (DivergentInsurgentAllegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection), the Carve the Mark duology (Carve the Markthe Fates Divide), The End and Other Beginnings collection of short fiction, Chosen Ones, and many short stories and essays. She lives in Chicago.

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Book Review · Books

Brambles (Dauntless Path #0.5) by Intisar Khanani [BOOK REVIEW]

Brambles (Dauntless Path #0.5) by Intisar Khanani [BOOK REVIEW]

I am so glad that the author, Intisar Khanani, sent me an ARC e-copy of Brambles. Brambles is a prequel to Thorn, and is a part of the Dauntless Path series. I absolutely adored Thorn, and you can read my review of it HERE. When I heard there is a prequel, I was immediately sold!

About The Book:

Brambles (Dauntless Path #0.5) by Intisar Khanani [BOOK REVIEW]


Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 40

Format I read it in: Uncorrected Proof – ebook

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

Synopsis:

In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.

She betrayed her own.

Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.

A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani’s “Brambles” gives Alyrra’s account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.

My Thoughts:

In Brambles, we get to meet princess Alyrra before she is betrothed. We also meet her family and Valka as well. As short as this book was, it was filled with a lot of emotion, as well as a good moral story of doing what is right. Valka enjoyed messing up with the servants and ruining their lives, and when Alyrra stood up to her, it was at this point that everything changed.

Alyrra did what was right, but it was interesting to see her brother and her mother’s reactions. Clearly, their reputation was much more important to them than integrity. It is also in Brambles that we witness Alyrra’s brother and how cruel he can be. And most importantly, it is here we witness her first connection with the wind.

If you have already read Thorn, Brambles will be such a delight for you. It has Easter eggs hidden in it, and it also shows us a different side to the characters in more depth than we get to know them in Thorn. It is also lovely to see Alyrra’s life before she needs to move to the city, and how she behaves when nobody is watching.

But at the same time – if this is the first book you decide to pick up from this series, it is a perfect introduction to the story that’s about to follow. You’ll get to meet Alyrra and find out more about the circumstances she lives in. Intisar Khanani beautifully created a loop of content, that no matter which book you choose to read first, it will be a delight nevertheless.

I still find it amusing how the author managed to create such a compelling and intriguing prequel in only 40 pages.

Rating:

★★★★

About The Author:

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Prior to publishing her novels, Intisar worked as a public health consultant on projects relating to infant mortality and minority health, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.

Intisar is the author of the Dauntless Path books (Thorn, The Theft of Sunlight), and her indie epic fantasy series, The Sunbolt Chronicles.

Social Media:
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Book Review · Books

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare [BOOK REVIEW]

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★★

I was reading Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare as part of the Tandem readalong on Instagram. I love Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series, and it was such a unique experience to read Chain of Gold while chatting to people about it at the same time. Needless to say, I loved the book, and can’t wait for the second book, Chain of Iron, to come out. Huge thanks also to the team at Walker Books, for the copy of the book!

Synopsis:

Chain of Gold is the first book of the Last Hours series, and it’s set in Edwardian London. We meet shadowhunter Cordelia Carstairs, a warrior trained to battle demons. When her father is awaiting trial for a crime he may have committed, she and her brother travel to London in hope to prevent the family’s shame. Cordelia’s mother wants her to marry into a suitable house, but Cordelia is more determined to be a hero than a bride.

While in London, Cordelia meets her childhood friends, James and Lucie Herondale, and their world of ballrooms and picnics. Cordelia and Lucie are promised to be parabatais when they get older. And Cordelia also has to keep her love for James a secret, who is promised to marry someone else.

But a shocking series of attacks happen in London, and these monsters are nothing like the ones Shadowhunters have fought before. These demons can walk in daylight, damage Shadowhunters with poison and are impossible to kill. With London under quarantine, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.

My Thoughts:

I loved Chain of Gold so much! It was everything I expected it to be and more! The story line is a very exciting one and as soon as I got familiar with all the characters and plot, I couldn’t put it down. I have read The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices series prior to reading this book, and the Shadowhunter world felt very familiar to me. I knew some of the names, but it didn’t make much of a difference.

If you have read the Infernal Devices series, many characters will be known to you. But at the same time, if this is your first Cassandra Clare book, you’ll still be able to enjoy it. The first few chapters explain the Shadowhunter world quite well, as well as the Downworlders. In fact, if this is the first book you pick up, it will probably make you want to read the other books as well.

The writing is a masterpiece.

Cassie Clare, as usual, doesn’t disappoint. As soon as I start reading any of her books, I am immediately transported into this fictional world. I also loved the group of friends. It reminded me of the group of friends in the Mortal Instruments series, because of how close they are, and how they are not afraid to sacrifice each other to save one another. They are so unique and different, but that makes them all click nicely together.

“It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.”

Cordelia was one of my favorite characters. Her bravery and her strong will. I mean, not everyone can wield Cortana, and she managed to do that!

“Ah, the famous Cortana. A sword that bears no runes, yet can kill demons, they say.”

I also loved Lucie’s creative mind and ability to find good in everyone. Also, her amazing ability (not saying anything else). James and his ability to think fast, to lead the group and to be the first one to go into a battle. Anna’s ability to discard the rules and live life as she wants. Matthew and Thomas, as well as Alastair and Christopher, all with their own troubles, but always there for their friends, ready for anything. Jesse. Oh God, Jesse. That boy made me love him so much, especially during the last few chapters. And not to forget, the amazing Jem, also known as Brother Zachariah. He was a true gem in this book, and his advice was priceless to James many, many times.

“We do not get to choose when in our lives we feel pain.” said Matthew, “It comes when it comes, and we try to remember, even though we cannot imagine a day when it will release its hold on us, that all pain fades. All misery passes. Humanity is drawn to light, not darkness.”

It’s always hard to write reviews without spoiling anything.

With Cassandra Clare’s books, it’s exceptionally hard! But I will say this – it’s another YA fantasy into the Shadowhunter universe, and it’s full with magic and intrigue. You’ll start caring about these people, and their lives will be in danger and each chapter will leave you wanting more. There are demons, ghosts, magic, warlocks, faes and vampires. And always shadowhunters, saving the day. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series, and I hope you’ll join me too!

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy [BLOG TOUR]

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy [BLOG TOUR]

★★★★

Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy is the first book I read this year, and my first 5 star as well. I am now confident that 2021 won’t be that bad. I knew I was going to enjoy it, I just didn’t expect to enjoy it this much. Huge thank you yo Kaleidoscope Tours and Scholastic Press, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Synopsis:

Niamh just moved to London, with the hope to pursue acting, meet friends and have fun. When she starts making new friends and these women keep getting attacked and murdered, she realises that this might be all somehow connected to her. Because all women that are being attacked look very much like her.

My Thoughts:

Last One to Die is suspenseful from the very beginning, because Niamh knows that she’s in danger. She just doesn’t know what/who the danger is. Trusting people is hard and so is making new friends again. And as the book goes on, the intensity increases and the stakes get higher.

It’s so hard to write a spoiler-free review for this book, because I want to share everything I felt while reading it. Niamh was a character I really liked, and she was very easy to relate to as well. I went in for a YA thriller and I got a supernatural horror that kept me on my toes.

The friendship with Jess, the family closeness and the love interest scenes were a wonderful addition to the suspense we get, like breathing a bit of fresh air as well. I loved it when scenes made me giggle or give me the butterflies. It was very light as well, which helped break the scary moments and make you believe everything was good, before another plot twist happened.

I also loved the history element too.

The library, the museum, the old scary stories that happened in the part and brought eeriness… These were some of my favorite scenes in the whole book.

This is one of those books where you’ll have a theory, be eager to know the villain, and see your theories change at least three times. I made so many prediction, and got it correct in the end, but even then I still had to wait until the end to confirm it and get a satisfying explanation.

If you love YA thrillers, with horror elements and supernatural moments, don’t miss this one. This trope is now on my books. It might even be my favorite genre if my next reads are good as well. Cynthia Murphy as an author is also now on my list. I will make sure to read the next book she writes! I couldn’t recommend it enough!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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