Friday, 17 February 2017

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)

Never Flinch, Never Fear, Never Forget.

Before I left my last job I took some books with me. Now before anyone asks I have every intention of returning them and the reasons I took them are very honorable I promise. I had purchased a few different titles for the students before I left. I always aim to read a good selection of any of the books I order to check what section of the library they'd go in and to help with recommending them. I set myself a ridiculously ambitious pile to read through and I didn't quite manage to finish them before my last day. However, I did not want them to just go straight on the library shelves without being read especially as they did not hire someone new to replace me. One of these such books was Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.  Obviously with my love of fantasy I was bound to want to read this one anyway so it was a treat to be able to have the copy.  I am so glad I didn't just let this go out on the shelves as personally it is certainly not a young adult read.

With this all said now onto the review. The story is set in a place where the sun rarely sets and it is nevernight most of the time. This is where Mia, hellbent on revenge ives, but unlike most of the citizens she lives in the shadows, in fact she is one and the same. She has command over them, can cloak herself in them and is followed where ever she goes by the not-cat Mister Kindly.  Having witnessed her father's death and her mother and brothers incarceration Mia is to determined to punish those who took them from her. The only way is to go to the Red Church and learn to be a true killer.   

For me the fact it is rarely night actually plays little role in the story. I was more intrigued by Mia's abilities. Unfortunately I found the first half of the book painstakingly slow. I wanted more from the shadows that surrounded Mia. I got my wish in the second half that is for sure. I felt the pace increased and the book demanded to be read. If the high octane aspects of the second half could have appeared more in the first I don't think I would have been as glacial in my reading. Another thing that clearly caused me to slow was the footnotes. Now I must admit I am not one for lengthy lessons of worlds, rules and histories in a fantasy story. I like it when the writer can bring you into the world believably without having to give you a history lesson. However for me if you don't think it is relevant enough to put in the actual content then the footnote seems unnecessary in a fiction story. Personally even if some of them were funny on the whole I found the a hindrance not a help.  

I can see why this story has been so popular. Mia and her quest are engaging and enigmatic and the power she posses is bone-chillingly lethal. Getting to see that power more in the second half is truly nail biting stuff. I didn't feel a great connection to other characters but on many occasions I was caught out by completely unexpected twists the story took. I think I am still a bit confused by the final chapter and that has left me wondering what will happen in the next installments 

Weird and wonderful - I imagine fans of Neil Gaiman will love

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Miss Peregfrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

My dad is just as much as an avid reader as myself, infact I defintely get my reading habits from him. Like me a good fantasy is generally his genre of choice so when he recommended Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children I knew it would be one I should read. The idea that Ransom Riggs used real photographs to fuel his creative writing drive really fascinated me as an aspiring author. I enjoyed seeing the photos dotted throughout the story. On the plus being a brilliant Dad who knows his daughters gift loving ways he gave me his copy as well. So armed with a copy I added the book to my February TBR. Now I have previously stated that I generally use my mood to determine if I should read a book well I went for a pretty lazy way to choose the order I would read them in – I’ve gone by size (My librarian shame is strong at admitting this).

Miss Peregrine’s was the smaller of some of the hefty tombs on my TBR (Stormlight Archive for one). So it won the role of my third read of the month and I will admit I am pleased it did.The story is a unique mystery set in two time periods and shrouded in intrigue. A devastating event takes Jacob on a journey to discover more about his beloved but unusual grandfather's life. Journeying to the far reaches of Wales to seek out Miss Peregrine and the home his grandfather escaped to during the second world war.  What Jacob finds opens his eyes to the truth in his grandfathers peculiar stories. 

I loved reading this book, it was written from Jacob's point of view and I found the first person narrative really well paced and I liked Jacob the more for his clever dialogue and musings about situations. I was not surprised this book had appealed to my dad too. The creation of the 'peculiars' was effortless and believable. I was thrilled when I found out there were more books in the series, even more so when I discovered my dad owned them - winning!

A clever plot with lovely imagery

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Collector of Books - Fairy Loot

I am a serial collector. Not just books, stuff of all kinds. Some would describe it better as hoarding but personally I can see the method to my madness (says the girl with over 100 packs of playing cards).  

I have recently brought a one off Fairy Loot box that should arrive at the end of February. I am ridiculously excited for it. I decided that I would 'treat' myself as the theme sounds amazing and plus it's my birthday in February AND I just got my first proper pay slip from my new job. Needless to say I had to have it. The trouble is I can see it already spiralling. Fairy Loot have just announced their March box. If you haven't yet seen you can find the announcement here

Myths & Monsters! Literally it sounds perfect for me and plus it becomes available to order right on my birthday (surely that is sign). I have not even received my first box and already I am planning the second! I knew this would appeal to my bookworm/magpie tendencies.

I have really wanted to get a book subscription for some time. I have seen amazing unboxings of a variety such as OwlCrate, LitJoyCrate, Once Upon a Book Club etc. Yet the thing that appeals to me most about Fairy Loot is not only is it a YA Fantasy box but it is also based in the UK! As some of you know the shipping to get a book box over from America is literally the same as the cost of the box itself and I can not justify it (no matter how hard I try). 

Thankfully through the wonderful bookstagramming community I have discovered Fairy Loot and am excited to unbox it later in the month when it arrives. I must confess I have signed up to the waiting list to know as soon as the March box becomes available. Personally I think this could be the start of another beautiful collection (I doubt my bank balance or husband will agree but such is the life of a bookworm).

Have you had a book subscription you loved?

Saturday, 4 February 2017

This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

Image result for this savage song

There's no such thing as safe


It was a while ago that I read this book but even now I still can not believe how good it was. I had been in quite the reading slump of 3 star books and it was getting a tad disheartening reviewing them. It was not that they were bad books they just weren't books for me. I am all for people trying to read books that are out of their comfort zones and I was trying to this a lot more and it was not always paying off.

This Savage Song could not be more up my street if it was written just for me. Fantasy in all the right places and one of the cleverest premises I have read for while. I loved the characters of Kate and August - not to mention the fact the book successfully avoided the YA craze of insta-love (huge bonus points here).

In Verity monsters are real. Not only are they real but it is human acts of evil that create them. Three different types of monster exist and it depends where you live to how safe you are and how safe you feel. Kate lives on the side ruled by her father and August on the side governed by his. There worlds collide and they must work through their differences to work together to fix the corruption.

All the emotions. Honestly I think I could wax lyrical about this book for days - the writing is sensational. I have wanted to read a book by Victoria Schwab for a while and for some reason just had not gotten around to it. Now I feel I will devour everything she has written. Her style of writing for me was effortless. Easy to read and to follow which I think is incredibly important in fantasy fiction. I found both characters really beguiling and although Kate had that annoying feisty devil may care female lead role I found August made up for that in being an interesting male lead.  A classic 'just one more chapter' book and a great read for someone who likes a good suspense thriller - cliffhangers all around please!

I have no idea what to expect from the sequel and I am both nervous and looking forward to it.

Go on just one more chapter