Category: fantasy

Currently Reading: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa…

Currently Reading: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust! (Not my photo, only using for cover purposes.)  I finished Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta last week, and I’ve been working on this ever since. I’ve got about hundred pages left, and I’m enjoying it. A feminist retelling of Snow White, complete with magic, secrets, and betrayal? I am so on board. Shout out to my local library for getting it to me. What are you guys currently reading this weekend? 

Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta Review

Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta Review

Currently Reading: Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta! (Not my…

Currently Reading: Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta! (Not my photo, just using for cover purposes.) I just finished The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker last night, and to say that I have mixed feelings is a major understatement. Now on down the library stack, I go! I’m really excited for this book. First of all, the cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I loved the premise. A magical kingdom drained of its resources, with a down on her luck heroine having to smuggle the stolen magic inside? Sold, sold, and sold again! I’m really hoping that this book is as wonderful as it seems. I just started it, so I’m not really sure how I feel about it yet. What are you guys currently reading this week?

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero Review

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero Review

Because You Love to Hate Me by Ameriie Review

Because You Love to Hate Me by Ameriie Review

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle Review

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle Review

Crooked Kingdom Book Review

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 5/5

All Six Of Crows fans (like me) who are scared that this sequel won’t live up to the first – you will not be disappointed. I found it difficult to believe Six Of Crows could be matched, let alone beaten! Crooked Kingdom is everything I wanted and more: development of the characters and relationships, twists and turns that are completely unpredictable, emotions sky-high through the whole thing and both a satisfying and heart-breaking ending.

I love the writing style of this duology*. Usually, multiple POV isn’t my thing, but the fact that it’s written in third person rather than first makes it more refined and I would say sophisticated. Leigh Bardugo has expertly chosen which section of the story should come from which character, revealing just enough about what’s going on so that the reader understands and is excited about the events but is still kept guessing. Another thing I thought was achieved really well was the seamless flashbacks throughout the narrative. They were almost rationed throughout the story which made it easier to swallow and intriguing.

And how can I review this book without talking about the characters?! They are all so beautifully flawed and have so much depth and personality. Each complements and clashes with the other stunningly – and you just can’t help but fall in love with them! 

Usually this is the part where I talk about the negatives… But I don’t actually have any! Loved it beyond belief and something I will always remember.

(*I know I talk a lot about the actual writing of books but personally I think that it’s just as important as plot or characters)

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi HeiligRating: ★★★☆☆SynopsisIt…

The Girl
from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Synopsis

It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was
1774, though not for very much longer.

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their
crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate
ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and
her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although
a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in
one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her
mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in
question…

(from Goodreads)

Thoughts

I was really excited to read
this book for the longest time. First of all – time-traveling pirates. That’s
the best thing imaginable. Secondly – the cover is just so incredibly beautiful
(I know, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover), that it drew me in. In the
end the book may not have quite lived up to my expectations, but it was still
an enjoyable read.

The concept of this story is
spectacular and unique. It’s such a cool idea that a person would be able to
navigate to any map, be it real or imaginary. My first thought when the
characters described how they travelled between times was of course: “So if they
had a map of Hogwarts or Narnia, they could just go there?” That made me very
excited. Do you have any idea how often I’ve dreamt of being able to do that?
However, navigating, as they call it, it a bit more complicated. The map has to
be hand drawn and made in the contemporary time, so a map of India in 1774 must
have been drawn in 1774. And in order for them to travel to a mythical or
imaginary land the person who drew the map must believe the place is real. This
makes it sound like mythical maps are extremely rare, but apparently not. On
the ship the crew has a bunch of magical objects from different myths, such as
a bottomless sack from an Irish story and luminescent herring from a
Scandinavian myth explaining the Northern Lights. They even have a crew member
from an imaginary city.

The crew is able to navigate
to these strange and magical places all thanks to Nix, our main character. The
girl is like a walking encyclopaedia of myth and history. I am myself a big fan
of mythology, but there was still so much mentioned in this book that I had no
idea about. Still, you could keep up with the story without knowing all the
facts beforehand. And for the very curious (like me) there is a handy dandy
author’s note in the back detailing the origins of most of the myths and
objects mentioned in the story.

The story mostly takes place
in Hawaii in the 1800’s. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii, so learning more
about its history was really fascinating. This was a story I had never heard
before in my life. I am starting to realize what an interesting history Hawaii
has, and would really like to learn more.

I found the main character to
be extremely smart, but a bit hard to relate to. She keeps herself at arm’s
length from the other characters, and also from the reader. The rest of the
characters in this story are very diverse, which always makes a story better in
my opinion. The ships motely crew come from all over the world and from all
different times, which makes a very interesting mix.

This is most of all an adventure
story, but from the blurb I thought it would also have quite a bit of romance
in it. I mean, the front reads “A journey through time. A journey to love.”. In
spite of that, I do not think this was a love story at all. Sure, there was
some romantic tension between a few characters, but not at all enough to call
it a romance. This turned out to be the complete opposite of most YA, where
there is usually more romance than you expected. Instead, this book focuses
more on the love within families, which is refreshing.

I really enjoyed this story.
It had plenty of adventure and lots of myth and history. I adore the
time-traveling concept, and I look forward to seeing where the author takes the
story in the next book (I believe this is a duology?). I recommend it to all
history- and mythology nerds out there or to anyone looking for an entertaining
adventure story. Also, how could you say no to time-traveling pirates?

//love from L

Find it on Goodreads

More reviews

Queen Of Shadows Book Review

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Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4.5/5

Another amazing instalment of this series! Although I don’t feel like any of the sequels surpassed the first one, I very much enjoyed all the development we get in this book. Seeing the characters we adore evolve through this story has never been better. And seeing their relationships evolve, too. Lots of new characters are introduced, each with their own deep and heart-felt stories that I loved exploring (I have a new favourite character after this book).

One thing I will never stop mentioning (because I don’t think it gets appreciated enough) is the way Sarah J. Maas can write in third person and still address all the characters’ emotions. The narration slips seamlessly from one character to another, explaining everything that needs to be explained whilst also withholding information from the reader without us noticing until it’s revealed.

Another thing I think is important about not just the writing but the plot as well, is that the reader is able to keep up with it without it being over-explained or slow. Sometimes, especially in high fantasy series, a backstory or a plan of attack can be so confusing that it becomes almost mindless to the reader. But this story is complex, but still understandable.

The only negative I have is that it went on a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it – but I found myself wanting it to end so I could move on.

For that reason, it’s a 4.5/5 from me.

Currently Reading: The Spell Book of the Lost and Found by Moira…

Currently Reading: The Spell Book of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle! I just finished Miles Morales: Spiderman yesterday evening, and I really enjoyed it. Give me all the superhero novels I can read! Now, on down the library stack, I go! Again, @mrfidler picked this one for me, and I’m so stoked. First of all, look at that cover! It’s so pretty and autumn-like. And second of all, Moira won my heart last year when we read The Accident Season for our library book club. I’m not even one hundred pages in, and I’m absolutely sold! You could say that I’m spellbound! (Pun fully intended, sorry, not sorry.) Shout out to my local library for hooking me up! What are you guys currently reading this week?