Monday, September 30, 2019

September Wrap-Up

*Contains spoilers for the FairyLoot September box*

Here are the books I wanted to read this month . . .


 Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1) by Leigh Bardugo - hardback - 3/5 stars.
A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth - eARC - 3.5/5 stars - read my review here.
The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters - eARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.

All The Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle - paperback - 3.5/5 stars - read my review here.
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett - eARC - 3/5 stars - read my review here.
I'll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara - library paperback - 3/5 stars.

 The Antidote by Shelley Sackier - eARC - DNF (1/5 stars) - read my review here.
Into The Crooked Place (Into The Crooked Place, #1) by Alexandra Christo - ARC - 2.5/5 stars - read my review here.
Slayer (Slayer, #1) by Kiersten White - eARC - 3.5/5 stars - read my review here.


I got way more books than I intended to this month! But I only bought a few of them.

This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone - I bought this from the Forbidden Planet in London when I was there to see the Les Mis concert that's on at the moment. It's signed by one of the authors.
With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo - I won a copy of this through Readers First

Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake, #2) by Victoria Schwab - this was a pre-order.

The Good Luck Girls (The Good Luck Girls, #1) by Charlotte Nicole Davis - I was sent an ARC of this by the publisher, Hot Key Books.

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies, #2) by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton - I got this in a trade.

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave - when I saw this Waterstones exclusive edition I just had to buy it - it has rose pink sprayed edges, is signed, and has beautiful gold foiling underneath the dust jacket.

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody - I got this in a trade.

Sanctuary by V.V. James - another trade. This one is the Illumicrate edition, which is signed and has green sprayed edges.

Angel Mage by Garth Nix - I was sent this by the publisher to review as part of the blog tour.

Not photographed is the FairyLoot book of the month which was Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin. This edition is gorgeous with shimmery gold sprayed edges and artwork on the inside of the dust jacket. It's also signed. 



Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

What books did you read and buy in September?

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Review - Into The Crooked Place (Into The Crooked Place, #1) by Alexandra Christo

Title: Into The Crooked Place (Into The Crooked Place, #1)
Author: Alexandra Christo
Pages: 496
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 8th October 2019

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Magic rules the city of Creije Capital and Tavia Syn knows just how many tricks she needs up her sleeve to survive. Selling dark magic on the streets for her kingpin, she keeps clear of other crooks, counting the days until her debt is paid and she can flee her criminal life.

But then, one day, with her freedom in sight, Tavia uncovers a sinister plot that threatens to destroy the realm she calls home. Desperate to put an end to her kingpin's plan, Tavia forms an unlikely alliance with three crooks even more deadly than her: 

Wesley, the kingpin's prodigy and most renewed criminal in the realm

Karam, an underground fighter with a penchant for killing first and forgetting to ask questions

And Saxony, a Crafter in hiding who will stop at nothing to avenge her family 

With the reluctant saviours assembled, they embark on a quest to put an end to the dark magic before it's too late. But even if they can take down the kingpin and save the realm, the one thing they can't do is trust each other.

My Review:

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hot Key Books*

Tavia lives in Creije selling magical charms on the streets to pay off her debt to the Kingpin.
One day, she unearths a dark plot that may lead to the destruction of the place Tavia calls home. Determined to stop the Kingpin, Tavia joins forces with three other crooks: Wesley (the Kingpin's prodigy), Karam (who uses her fists first and asks questions later), and Saxony (a Crafter hiding her abilities and hell-bent on avenging her family).
The group must work together to stop this strange, dark magic before it's too late, but can they work together when they can't trust each other?

As a big fan of the author's debut novel, To Kill A Kingdom, I was so excited to read Into The Crooked Place. It sounded like such an intriguing read and was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. Unfortunately, I ended up being possibly the most disappointed I've ever been by a book.
I struggled to connect with the characters and wasn't invested in what happened to them.
Tavia was probably my favourite character, but she reminded me a too much of two other characters, so I couldn't help but imagine her as them. I would have liked to have seen more of Tavia working as a busker - there wasn't as much of that as I expected.
Wesley was another character that reminded me way too much of someone else, and again, I pictured him as that character. He was meant to be this big, bad underboss, but I didn't feel that he actually did that many bad things for someone meant to be so terrible.
The only thing that I think to say about Saxony was that I liked that she was tall.
I liked that Karam was a female bouncer, but she felt a bit bland.
The Kingpin was creepy, but I never felt that he was actually going to kill or seriously injure any of the main characters.
I wasn't a big fan of the romance in this book.
I did start off enjoying this, but the more I read, the more I lost interest, and towards the end I debating not finishing it. However, I was still a bit intrigued to see what happened so I continued to read.
I guessed a plot twist and nothing that happened surprised me like it should have.
I felt that there could have been more world building, and I would have liked more description about Creije, as it was meant to be this special city worth fighting for, but it could have been anywhere.
The writing was a bit jumpy at times, and the characters seemed to suddenly be in a different place without me realising they'd moved.
I liked the idea of messenger bats and floating railways. The charms were intriguing as well.
The premise was interesting, but this ended up feeling like a cross between Six of Crows and Ace of Shades, but too similar to them for my liking. It was almost like a Six of Crows fan-fiction in a way (which I feel bad for saying).
I am extremely disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.
I'm not sure if I will read the sequel or not.

Overall, this was an okay but disappointing read.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Five Books I Want To Re-Read

1. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Blurb from Goodreads:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all.

With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most - a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian's heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavoury hobby - it's his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she's more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good.

But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind's greatest enemy?

Why I Want To Re-Read This:

I read this a year or two ago now and really enjoyed it.
I loved the banter and the dark, brutal-ness of it.


2. Not A Drop To Drink (Not A Drop To Drink, #1) by Mindy McGinnis

Blurb from Goodreads:

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

Why I Want To Re-Read This:

I read this five years ago now and I really enjoyed it at the time.
I still think about it every now and then.

3. Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1) by Christopher Paolini

Blurb from Goodreads

One boy...
One dragon...
A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and tge advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.


Why I Want To Re-Read This:

I read the first three books in my teens and loved them (except for the second book, Eldest, which was told from dual perspective chapters - one of which I found really boring.
I still need to read the fourth book, Inheritance, and the new collection of short stories that came out at the very beginning of this year.
So I'm planning to re-read the series from the beginning before catching up on the ones I haven't read yet.

4. The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

Blurb from Goodreads:

A debut literary thriller from an incredible new voice. What do you do when the man who gave you everything turns out to be a killer?

Everything Elka knows of the world she learned from the man she calls Trapper, the solitary hunter who took her under his wing when she was just seven years old.

But when Elka sees the Wanted poster in town, her simple existence is shattered. Her Trapper – Kreagar Hallet – is wanted for murder. Even worse, Magistrate Lyon is hot on his trail, and she wants to talk to Elka.

Elka flees into the vast wilderness, determined to find her true parents. But Lyon is never far behind – and she’s not the only one following Elka’s every move. There will be a reckoning, one that will push friendships to the limit and force Elka to confront the dark memories of her past.


Why I Want To Re-Read This:

I read this two years ago, and it's not an exaggeration to say that I still think about it at least once a week.
I originally rated it 3.5 stars, but have since changed my rating to 5 stars.
I'm itching to read it again, but part of me is worried that it won't live up to my memory of it.


5. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Blurb from Goodreads

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling any further than his pantry or his cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf, and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo is most reluctant to take part in this quest, but he surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and his skill as a burglar!

Why I Want To Re-Read This:

The Hobbit is my favourite book of all time and it's been way too long since I read it!

What books are you planning to re-read?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Review - Slayer (Slayer, #1) by Kiersten White

Title: Slayer (Slayer, #1)
Author: Kiersten White
Pages: 416
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK
Release Date: 21st February 2019

Blurb from Goodreads:

Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Simon & Schuster Children's UK and NetGalley*


Nina and her twin sister Artemis have grown up in the midst of Watchers - guides for the supernaturally strong young women known as Slayers who use their powers to defeat evil.
Nina has always been more inclined to healing and caring for people rather than violence, but thanks to Buffy, the best-known Slayer, Nina is now a Slayer herself. The last Slayer ever.
Nina gets her own Watcher and finds plenty of supernatural beings to keep her busy as she tries to train and get used to her new abilities.
What is the shadowy creature that Nina keeps seeing in her dreams? Where and when will it strike next? Can Nina stop it from hurting anyone else?

I'm a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, so I was excited to read a YA novel set in the same universe.
Kiersten White's books have been a bit hit or miss for me in the past, but I thought I would give Slayer a go and I'm glad I did.
Nina was a good protagonist. I thought she was likeable and relatable. She hadn't had an easy time of things and then her life was flipped upside down when she became a Slayer.
I liked most of the characters, but I think one of my favourites was Doug.
The plot was good overall, and while I did guess some of the plot twists, there were still a few twists that surprised me.
It was interesting finding out more about the Watchers, but, as a Buffy fan, I didn't like it when they bad-mouthed her. I mean, she'd been through a hell of a lot. Give her a break, guys!
The writing style was good, but there were one of two occasions when I seemed to miss the characters moving from one place to another.
I would definitely recommend this to Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans.

Overall this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday - The Beautiful

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a feature hosted at Wishful Endings where people showcase an upcoming book they are looking forward to.

This week I am looking forward to . . .

Title: The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Pages: 432
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: 8th October 2019

Blurb from Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as Le Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of Le Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sèbastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

 Why I'm Anticipating This Book:

Vampires in New Orleans in the 1800s?!
Sounds amazing!!!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My Autumn 2019 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week the topic is
Books On My Autumn 2019 TBR
 Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Angel Mage by Garth Nix 
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

 Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon



What books are on your autumn/spring TBR?

Saturday, September 21, 2019

DNF Review - The Antidote by Shelley Sackier

Title: The Antidote
Author: Shelley Sackier
Pages: 368
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 5th February 2019

Blurb from Goodreads: 

In the world of healers, there is no room for magic.

Fee knows this, just as certainly as she knows that her magic must be kept secret. 

But the crown prince Xavi, Fee’s best friend and only source of comfort, is sick. So sick, that Fee can barely contain the magic lying dormant inside her. She could use it, just a little, to heal him. But magic comes at a deadly cost—and attracts those who would seek to snuff it out forever. 

A wisp of a spell later, Fee finds herself caught in a whirl of secret motivations and dark pasts, where no one is who—or what—they appear to be. And saving her best friend means delving deeper into the tempting and treacherous world whose call she’s long resisted—uncovering a secret that will change everything.

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to HarperTeen/HarperCollins and NetGalley*

DNF @17%

Ten years ago, Fee's homeland was struck by a devastating plague that killed many people, and resulted in a quarantine.
Now, it is nearly time for the quarantine to end and for Fee's best friend, Prince Xavi, to become king and marry a princess from a foreign land.
Fee has magic that must be kept secret, but when Xavi falls ill, Fee wants to use her magic to help him. But using her magic attracts unwanted attention.
Can Fee save Xavi and hide her magic?

The blurb intrigued me, but unfortunately this wasn't for me.
From the very first page I struggled with the writing style.
I couldn't get into the plot and found it hard to connect with the characters who said things that didn't sound or feel natural to me.
The Antidote had an interesting concept, but it didn't reach its potential for me.
I'm disappointed that I didn't end up enjoying this.

Overall, this wasn't for me.