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review 2017-11-02 15:20
Review: Fireblood
Fireblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This is one of those delightful fantasy series that the plot twists are actually pretty ridiculous and kind of laughable, but it’s just SO GOOD you can overlook how silly it really is because it’s so exceptionally well written and the characters are excellent. Definitely one of my favourite fantasy series of this year.

 

Review contains spoilers for the first book.

 

Picking up shortly after where the first book ended, Arcus is now King of the Frostbloods and Ruby is now a Lady living in his court. She still has the hideous Minax monster hiding in her mind and is on a quest to figure out how to destroy it. Her friend from the first book, Lady Marella is helping her with court etiquette. Despite the fact that the Frostblood curse and throne is gone, and the evil king Rasmus along with it, not all the nobles are over joyed with the changes Arcus wants to implement, giving the regular people more fair trade terms for farmers and such. And treat the Firebloods better. Ruby is still met with scorn and suspicion. But she handles it a lot better.

(spoiler show)

 

She’s definitely got a spark and attitude and a delightful snarky manor about her, given everything Ruby went through in the first book, she’s an incredibly strong and well-adjusted character and is definitely (in this reader’s opinion) entitled to her moments of moaning and temper. She’s smart enough to know and understand that everything isn’t going to go smoothly.

 

During a fancy ball, after an assassination attempt Ruby makes the acquaintance of a strange but handsome boy Kai, who has an interesting offer for her. He’s a Fireblood like her and can take her to the Fireblood island to meet with the Fireblood Queen. One of the new ideas Arcus is after is a peace treaty between the Fireblood lands and the Frostblood lands. The Queen didn’t respond to his invitations to the ball and talks. Ruby figures if she takes Kai up on his offer then she can be the emissary for peace talks. And she’s also learned that the book she needs to destroy the Minax in the library at the Fireblood palace. So another reason to go.

(spoiler show)

 

Of course there is naturally some suspicion there. Wouldn’t be that simple. (And of course if everything went according to the plan there wouldn’t be much of a book.) There’s a lot of arguing between Ruby and Arcus on this point which makes a lot of sense if you think about it. There’s not a lot of information on who Kai is, or if he’s really who he SAYS he is. Or what he’s really doing there. Is she just going to blindly trust him and believe what he says? You can understand Arcus’s reasons against it.

 

 

 

At the same time Ruby has the chance to learn more about her own people and her own powers, she’ll be with others the same as herself – Firebloods. You can understand as well why Ruby wants to see the Fireblood lands. It’s a well reasoned argument with good points from both sides, made more frustrating by the deep attraction and the love that the two have for each other. And it’s almost painful to read about for the two of them clearly care deeply for each other but both are damned stubborn.

 

So Ruby heads off for the Firebloods lands across the sea. Where she’s met with some disturbing home truths about how the Fireblood Queen really is. Kai of course has kept his own secrets and reasons for bringing Ruby to the island. She’s pissed, naturally, but that doesn’t stop the fantastic bantery flirting between the two of them. Leading to internal conflict inside Ruby because she still has strong feelings for Arcus. <

(spoiler show)

 

Ruby has to take trails to become a Master before she can get access to the information she needs. And nothing goes according to plan. As the training increases and the tests she has to pass become more and more difficult, she’s hit bit a number of startling revelations about who she really is and who her own deceased mother was.

 

The twists are a bit silly to be perfectly honest, but like I said earlier, this is such a brilliantly written book, the daftness of the plot which can be eye rolling at times, doesn’t particularly matter because it’s so much fun to read. Left at a cliffhanger (of course) for the final instalment. Which I am really looking forward to.

 

This is a fantastic series I can’t recommend enough. I’ve already pre ordered the last book.

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review 2017-10-31 11:48
Review: There's Someone Inside Your House
There's Someone Inside Your House - Stephanie Perkins

 

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I was so excited for this book. It was one of my most anticipated releases of this year. I had pre ordered months in advance. I did a happy dance when my e arc request was approved early. Only to find this is one of my biggest disappointments of the year.

 

I really just didn’t like it much at all. Didn’t particularly care about the characters, wasn’t really that invested in the plot and the big reveal for the why of the whole thing was dull and anticlimactic.

 

It tells the story of Hawaiian teen Makani who has moved in with her Grandmother in a small town in Ohio. She has made some new friends, has a potential new relationship. She’s dealing with difficult parents who are in the middle of a bitter divorce, and is clearly hiding something bad that happened in Hawaii, the main reason she’s moved in with her grandmother.

 

A girl from the drama club has been viciously murdered, the small town is in shock and everyone’s gossiping about what could have happened and why. Before long another teen is murdered, a boy from the football team. So it continues. Random kids are dropping like flies in increasingly gory and violent murders. But there’s seemingly no connection between the victims. The novel focuses on Makani and her friends and her new love interest trying to figure out what’s going on, suspicions abound.

 

I just didn’t care. About any of it. I was bored. Teen slasher movies are one of my favourite things. Maybe I’m just jaded from having seen so many slasher movies raging from good to bad to what the fuck was that? It’s hard to compare not to compare this novel to a movie. That’s the feeling it gives.

 

Unfortunately, this book just didn’t work for me. Which sucks because this is one of my favourite authors.  

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan MacMillian for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2017-10-13 07:24
Six of Swords by Carole Nelson Douglas
Six of Swords - Carole Nelson Douglas

A beautifully written, light, quest-type, portal fantasy novel with unusual characters and original world building. 

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review 2017-07-08 04:45
Review - Sea of Rust by C Robert Cargill
Sea of Rust - C. Robert Cargill

There are not enough stars to indicate how much I love this book! We're only half way through 2017 but I'll go so far as to say that this is my favourite book this year and I honestly can't imagine anything that would knock it off that spot. I loved this from the very first chapter and literally couldn't put it down. I cracked it open within 10 minutes of it falling through the letterbox and didn't look up from it again until the last page was turned.

It's very rare for me to gush about a book but this one is just made of awesome. I'm all about Post Apocalyptic fiction and I can't get enough of it. It's usually zombies that I favour but really it doesn't matter how the world ends, just so long as it DOES end. Nuclear, aliens, plague, climate change...it's all good. Apocalypse by robot though is rare enough to get bumped up the TBR list every time. I thought Robopocalypse was good when I read it a few years ago but Sea Of Rust just blows that one out of the water.

I was hooked right from the get-go when Brittle's (great name) interaction with Jimmy got me right in the feels. Gah, my heart broke a little bit. Best introduction to a character I've read in a long time. All of the characters were easily pictured though, even the very short lived secondary ones, due in part to absolutely pitch perfect dialogue. Mercer is the best kind of villain, the kind you love to hate without really hating them, and the interactions between him and Brittle never got old. I was on the edge of my seat more than once when things looked bleak for Brittle and I alternated between racing to the end to see how it all came together for her, and trying to pace myself and spin it out so it lasted as long as possible. It was a thing of beauty to watch it all unfold and I could happily have read on for another 400 pages. I marvel at the mind that brought this concept to life and made me forget at times that I was reading about robots while at the same time ramming it home that this was a world populated by machinery. Mr Cargill is a very talented man.

I would LOVE to see this made into a movie and have no doubt that it won't be long until I get my wish. It's just crying out to be on the big screen and I can't wait! This fellow can definitely write and I'll follow him wherever he goes from now on. Hugely enjoyable story and I can highly recommend it without hesitation. Best book of 2017!

*I received this paperback from the publisher*

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text 2017-06-26 22:06
Beethoven
Howards End - E.M. Forster

"It will be generally admitted that Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is the most sublime noise that has ever penetrated into the ear of man. All sorts and conditions are satisfied by it. Whether you are like Mrs. Munt, and tap surreptitiously when the tunes come— of course, not so as to disturb the others—; or like Helen, who can see heroes and shipwrecks in the music's flood; or like Margaret, who can only see the music; or like Tibby, who is profoundly versed in counterpoint, and holds the full score open on his knee; or like their cousin, Fräulein Mosebach, who remembers all the time that Beethoven is “echt Deutsch”; or like Fräulein Mosebach's young man, who can remember nothing but Fräulein Mosebach: in any case, the passion of your life becomes more vivid, and you are bound to admit that such a noise is cheap at two shillings. It is cheap, even if you hear it in the Queen's Hall, dreariest music-room in London, though not as dreary as the Free Trade Hall, Manchester; and even if you sit on the extreme left of that hall, so that the brass bumps at you before the rest of the orchestra arrives, it is still cheap."

Oh! Was Forster a fellow Beethoven fan? How fun!

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