Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan

Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire, #1)

Title: Age of Myth
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Series: The Legends of the First Empire #1
Publication: 28th June 2016 by Del Rey
Genre: Fantasy

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A book from a sub genre of your favourite genre.

My Thoughts (2)

Since time immemorial, humans have worshiped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

My Thoughts

I’d like to start by saying, if you haven’t read a Michael J Sullivan book before, you’re really missing out! He publishes his books a little differently to most in that he writes the whole series before it gets published. This means that not only do you not have to wait ages for the next book to be released but the books are all fantastic. You don’t get that issue where a book half way through the series looses it’s way or the inconsistencies. You get some great links, foreshadowing and worldbuilding. If you haven’t guessed yet, Michael J Sullivan is an auto-buy author for me, simply because his books never let me down.

Age of Myth is set 3000 years before The Riyria Revelations but it is meant to be read separately and doesn’t have any spoilers. There are some characters and locations that are mentioned  in both but certainly no spoilers.

I loved the characters in this book; Suri, Raithe and Persephone in particular. As the booked flicked between the different character’s POV, I found myself sad when each of their parts finished. My particular favourite was Suri was because she was wild, innocent and lovely, although she did remind me slightly of Auri from Name of the Wind in the way that she spoke to animals and understood the world around her differently to othersThe characters were what really made this story for me; there was natural banter, character progression and you become emotionally attached to them because they’re so relatable and likable.

Like his other novels, this book was fast paces, easy to read with action, interesting characters and some unexpected twists.

My Thoughts (1)

5-stars

Mr Katz is a Zombie by Margaret Lesh

Mr. Katz is a Zombie (Goethalsburg Ghost Squad, #1)

Title: Mr Katz is a Zombie
Author: Margaret Lesh
Series: Goethalsburg Ghost Squad #1
Publication: 14th October 2014 by StoryRhyme.com Publishing
Genre: Children’s Fiction

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A book that you’ve owned for a while but haven’t gotten around to reading.

This book counts towards my ARC August.

I received a free ARC via NetGalley

My Thoughts (2)

Catastrophe looms in North Goethalsburg!

When twelve-year-old J.D. is tricked into taking possession of a book of spells, his best friend turns their teacher into a zombie. The zombification of Mr. Katz creates general chaos and a not-so-terrific time for near-genius J.D.

Teamed with his best friend Rodney, twin troublemakers, and an obnoxious ghost, J.D. must figure out how to change Mr. Katz back from one of the undead before he:

1. Escapes the janitor’s closet;
2. Eats their brains;
and
3. Wears J.D.’s spleen as a hat.

Can four boys armed with a slingshot, two boxes of jelly
donuts, and a handy zombie guide battle their mindless teacher and live to tell?

Probably not.

You’ll have to read to find out.

My Thoughts

I’m going to go right ahead and say I am not the target audience for this book. I’m probably double the age that you’re suppose to be (8 – 12 year olds). That said, I really enjoyed this book! And I think that if it is entertaining for those older than the age range then it is the mark of a great book, .

This book was really entertaining and enjoyable. They children manage to turn their teacher into a stinking, groaning, but ultimately non-threatening, doughnut eating zombie. It’s not overly silly but equally, it’s not going to give the children who read this nightmares.

I loved the whole family were involved in a business together and how the parents helped the children find the answer – they weren’t just completely unaware of what was going on but were really supportive.

I personally really enjoyed this and I’ll be interested to see if I find this in the school library at any point.

My Thoughts (1)4-stars

This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done

This Secret We're Keeping

Title: This Secret We’re Keeping
Author: Rebecca Done
Series: N/A
Publication: 7th April 2016 by Penguin
Genre: Fiction

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A book you meant to read in 2016

This counts towards my ARC August challenge.

Advanced Reading Copy provided, in exchanged for an honest review, from the publishers.

My Thoughts (2)

A pupil and a teacher. Is it ever right to break the rules? Jessica Hart has never forgotten Matthew Landley. After all, he was her first love when she was fifteen years old. But he was also her school maths teacher, and their forbidden affair ended in scandal with his arrest and imprisonment. Now, seventeen years later, Matthew returns to Norfolk, with a new identity and a long-term girlfriend and a young daughter, who know nothing of what happened before. Yet when he runs into Jessica, neither of them can ignore the emotional ties that bind them together. With so many secrets to keep hidden, how long can Jessica and Matthew avoid the dark mistakes of their past imploding in the present? From debut author Rebecca Done, This Secret We’re Keeping is a powerful and provocative novel about the ties which can keep us together – or tear us apart.

My Thoughts

This book is a controversial novel about a relationship between a teacher and his fifteen year old pupil. It is told with two narratives; Matthew’s (teacher) POV in 1993 and Jess’ (student) story in the present. We get to see how the relationship comes to be and how the scandal came out and affected both of their lives.

This book gripped me. As in, I locked myself in my room for hours reading. I was brushing my teeth and still reading. I was up way past my bed time reading. And in the end, it left me speechless.

The author took a very difficult subject and did it really well, leaving me feeling very torn. It was a very well written story that left me feeling very morally drained. It was very character driven, both of whom were very likable and well developed. It was very hard not to get emotionally involved in their lives. Whilst in the past your screaming that having an affair with a vulnerable fifteen year old student is wrong, I couldn’t help but root for them in the present.

I would have given it five stars had it not been for the muddle in the last few chapters.

A very interesting read!

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

Love Hurts by Malorie Blackman + more

Love Hurts

Title: Love Hurts
Author: Malorie Blackman, Patrick Ness, Lauren Myracle, Gayle Foreman, Susie Day, Jenny Downham, Maureen Johnson, Laura Dockrill, David Levithan, Markus Zusak, Lauren Kate, Catherine Johnson, James Dawson, Philip Pullman, E. Lockhart, Non Pratt, Bali Rai, Melvin Burgess, Phil Earle, Andrew Smith, Matt haig, Tabitha Suzuma and Marcus Sedgwick
Series: N/A
Publication: 29th January 2015 by Corgi Children’s
Genre: YA, Love and Romance, Fiction.

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A book written by at least two authors.

This book counts towards my ARC August 2017

Advanced Reading Copy provided, in exchanged for an honest review, from the publishers.

My Thoughts (2)

Have you ever fallen for someone the rest of the world thought you shouldn’t have? Malorie Blackman brings together the very best young adult authors writing today in a stunningly romantic collection of love against the odds.

Featuring stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak. This is a collection for anyone who has ever loved and lost – and loved again…

My Thoughts

This is an anthology combining a mixture of clippings from books and novellas, all about love, by some very famous and talented authors.

It contains clippings from:

  • More Than This by Patrick Ness
  • The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
  • If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
  • Trouble by Non Pratt
  • Rani and Dukh by Bali Rai
  • You Against Me by Jenny Downham
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  • Junk by Melvin Burgess
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • Heroic by Phil Earle
  • I Am Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
  • Echo Boyu by Matt Haig
  • Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  • Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
  • Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
  • We Were Liars by E Lockhart

And short stories by:

  • Malorie Blackman
  • Susie Day
  • Laura Dockrill
  • David Levithan
  • Lauren Kate
  • Catherine Johnson
  • James Dawson

This book is a complete mix, containing something for everyone. It has stories about blindness, transgender, coming out and incest. It has all different stories all with the main theme of love. And best of all, it’s not all straight love and not all from the girl’s perspective.

I had already read some of the clippings in here, like: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, Northern Lights by Philip Pullman and Troubled by Non Pratt, so I just skipped these. I’m not going to lie, there were some stories that didn’t grab me, but the best thing is that I could skip that clip and go onto the next bit. I didn’t have to drag myself through tonnes of pages just to complete the story. There were a lot of clipping that did grab my attention, and I know I’ll be adding to my every growing TBR list.

My favourite short story was definitely the first one by Malorie Blackman Humming through my fingers. It was just so interesting and beautiful – I would happily read an entire book about this. I didn’t want it to end.

If you’re expecting a novel by Malorie Blackman then you will be thoroughly disappointed. But if you’re looking for some short stories and new books, this is the book for you.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

Books reviews: Red Queen, Thirteen Reasons Why and The One Memory of Flora Banks.

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Publication: 10th February  2015 by HarperTeen
Genre: YAFantasy.

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge –  A book where one of the main characters is royalty.


This is a book that you’ve read before. Many times. It’s just a mash up of lots of popular books. This left it being highly predictable and, for me, disappointing.

There are Reds and Silvers. Silvers have special powers (think X-Men) and therefore rule the Reds and send them off to war at 17 to fight their battles. Throughout the book, the Reds do very little escape their living state.

And then Mare comes along. Like most YA heroines,  she is the reckless Saviour, who is unlike all the others and powers. Again, think any YA heroine, she is also sassy but makes silly choices. When she gets two love interests come along she thinks about them both obsessively. On the bright side, the love triangle isn’t dominating of the book.

I loved Queen Elara. Manipulative, ruthless and malicious, she was something fresh in the book as she provided twists. Although, again, the character was a lot like Cersei from Game of Thrones as she had a fierce love for her children and was ruthless in getting them, and herself, power.

For me, the major saving grace of this book was the ending.

I know lots of people loved this book and they can get over the fact that it’s basically a mash up of other books because they get investing in the characters but for me it was too similar to other books, making it predictable and lacking in originality.

3-stars

Thirteen Reasons Why

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Series: N/A
Publication: 18th October 2007 by Razorbill
Genre: YA

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – An epistolary fiction


Wow.

I read this book just after the TV series had been released on Netflix. I went in knowing nothing other than it was about suicide. I was completely hooked.

This is Hannah’s story, even though she has already killed herself. Before she committed suicide, she recorded 13 cassette tapes which are passed on to 13 people to say how they had an impact her decision to end her life.

I was so captivated by what Hannah was saying. It was just so eerie and powerful. I sped read Clay’s bits, as really he was just a mediator as he listens to the tapes, just so I could listen to what she was saying.

Whether you like the book or not, it still has a powerful message which really makes you think about how our words and actions have an impact on other’s lives.

5-stars

The One Memory of Flora Banks

Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Series: N/A
Publication: 12th January 2017 by Penguin
Genre: YA

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A book written or set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland)


This review contains some minor spoilers

I received a few chapters of this book in one of my Illumicrate boxes. Then I started seeing it everywhere. So when it came down to being 99p on kindle, I had to buy it. I’m glad it was only 99p.

Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can’t remember anything day-to-day, and writes things on her arm to help her remember. Then she kisses someone she shouldn’t have and the next day she begins remembering things for the first time since she was ten. Then the boy is gone. She thinks he’s moved to the Arctic…

I haven’t read many books about anterograde amnesia but all the ones I have read have the same “twist” that someone is not telling them something. So when the twist came up, it wasn’t a surprise, it was a groan that emerged from me.

This whole book just screamed unbelievable to me. Not only the twist but her making her way to Norway on her own without raising any suspicion.

The one thing I did like is that the synopsis suggested that her amnesia could be cured by the kiss, but luckily (for the plot) it wasn’t.

2-stars


Have you read, or are you going to read, any of these books? What did you think?

ARC August

ARC August begins! graphic

ARC August is a challenge hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat. During August you try and read all those ARCs that you have been neglecting.


Rules

  • Any Advanced Reading Copy counts as part of this reading challenge; your backlist books count.
  • No blog necessary to participate but you’ll need to include some form of social media as part of your sign up
  • Use the #ARCAugust on social media to check-in

Twitter Chat

There will be two twitter chats; one on August 7th and one August 28th. Both chats will start at 8pm EST and will be using the #ARCAugust tag.

Don’t forget to sign up: here.


My Goals

My Netgalley rating is really low at 66% and I have a huge backpile of unread ARCs so hopefully this challenge will help me get through some of the books and up to that magical 80%.

Here are my ARCs in no particular order.

  1. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  2. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
  3. The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
  4. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
  5. Ensared by Rita Stradling
  6. The Neverland Wars by Audreg Greathouse
  7. Once Upon a Fairy tale: A Collection of 11 Fairy Tale Inspired Romances by various authors.
  8. Allegent by Veronica Roth
  9. Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black
  10. This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done
  11. My Sister’s Secret by Tracy Buchanan
  12. Summoner: The Novice by Taran Matharu
  13. The Jack of Souls by Stephen C Merlino
  14. Of Shadow and Stone by Michelle Muto
  15. Now That I’ve Found You by Ciara Geraghty
  16. Love Hurts by Malorie Blackman
  17. The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg
  18. The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Andersen
  19. Mr Katz is a Zombie by M.C. Lesh

This is obviously way more than I would ever be able to read in a month (especially as it’s been whittled down).

Have you read any of these books?

Will you be joining in with ARC August?

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

My Sunday Smiles

  • My wonderful fiancé passed his friving test 2 weeks ago. In that time we’ve got a car! She’s called Florence. Along with our trusty SatNav (Phillip) we’ve driven to Kent and back and done a few trips in the car, just because we can. One of these was a trip to Leeds castle.
  • We went to a petting zoo. I love anything where I can touch animals. There were some very pretty cows, cute little piglets and I got to hold a snake!
  • I decided to make a change and my hair is now purple. I like it.

Micro Pigs

 


What made you smile this week?

Second Quarter Quell 2017 – 3 Month Wrap Up

3-monthly

Welcome to the second Quarter Quell, my 3 month wrap up where I look at my challenges I set at the beginning of the year and see how much progress I have made on them. It’s always nice to see a bit of progression, no matter how small. 🙂

I set myself the following challenges at the beginning of the year: 

  • To read my pre-ordered books ( Court of Thorns and Roses + Court of Mist and Fury)
  • To get above 70% on NetGallery
  • To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection
  • To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,132 pages).
  • To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes)
  • To read the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes – Nevernight, The Graces, The Diabolic.
  • To complete at least 26 of the  Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge.

15209252_10154135413840678_1653964156_nThe Complete Sherlock HolmesA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)


To Read My Pre-Orders: 
Still not completed despite taking ACoMaF on holiday with me.

To get above 70% on NetGalley: 
In December it was 64%, in March it was 65%, and now it is… 66%. Woo! I’ve started only requesting the books I really REALLY want. That still doesn’t stop me going on a requesting spree!
I still have a few great books that I need to get round to:

  • Traitor to the Throne – Alwyn Hamilton
  • This Secret We’re Keeping – Rebecca Done
  • Allegiant – Veronica Roth
  • The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon
  • Age of Swords – Michael J Sullivan
  • The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion

To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection: 
In December I was 88% through with just The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes left to read. I’ve made no progress on this at all.

To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,132 pages): So far (according to Goodreads) I’ve read 11317 pages = 70% of last year’s total!

To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes): I completed The Great Gatsby back in March, Animal Farm in April and I am currently reading 1984.

To read the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes:  
I haven’t read any of the original ones I meant at the beginning of the year. I’ve got even more because of the February and May boxes. I’ve only read one of them so far – whoops.

  • Nevernight – Jay Kristoff
  • The Graces – Laure Eve
  • Diabolic – S. J. Kincaid
  • Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones
  • Red Sister – Mark Lawrence
  • Truth or Dare – Non Pratt (2/6/17)
  • The Walking Land  by Callie Bates

dsc_0073

To complete at least 26 of the  Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge(30/52 completed)

Reading Challenge 2017
Since March I have ticked off:

1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 – Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (31/5/17)
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view) – You’re the One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher (6/4/17)
8. A book written by a person of colour – When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (13/6/17)
10. A dual-timeline novel – On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher (11/5/17)
16. A mystery –One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (4/5/17)
19. A New York Times best-seller – The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida (6/04/17)
34. A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere – Big Little Lies by Liane Mortiarty (18/6/17)
47. A past suggestion that didn’t win (link) – A Children’s Book Published After 2010 – Claude on the Slopes by Alex T. Smith (19/5/17)
48. A banned book – Animal Farm by George Orwell (6/4/17)
49. A book from someone else’s bookshelf – Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (1/5/17)
52. A book set in a fictional location – The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes (12/4/17)

See all the challenges I’ve ticked off here.

Currently reading:

Nineteen Eighty-FourGrimm's Fairy StoriesThe Complete Sherlock Holmes


Have you read any of these books?
How are you getting on with your resolutions?

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Series: N/A
Publication: 9th February 2017 by Penguin (Originally published in 2014)
Genre: Fiction, humour

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere

Advanced Reading Copy provided, in exchanged for an honest review, from the publishers.

My Thoughts (2)

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

My Thoughts

I went into this with no expectations or knowledge of the book (or TV series) at all, and was just blown away!

So much happens! I feel like either I can’t talk about any of it otherwise I’ll have to talk about all of it. The three women are all at different crossroads in their lives but the one thing the all have in common is that their children are all starting the same kindergarten. The book flicks between the three different mothers; Madeline, Celest and Jane. It also flicks between their stories and the present, where members of the school community are being interviewed about a murder, except we don’t know who has been murdered or who is involved.

It was one of those books that you pick up and before you know it, you’re over half way though and it’s dark outside. It’s full of mystery, drama and hilarity. Definitely worth picking up!

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

35fed-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. This week’s topic is “ Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t”.

Most of these are well know so I’m just going to put the picture up and not any detail.

Untitled design (1)

What series have you yet to start?