Book Review: The Fifth Season

Wow, this book is awesome, you can definitely understand why each book in the trilogy won the Hugo Award. N.K. Jemisin has created a science-fiction / fantasy blend that makes for such amazing world-building. The characters are really pushed to their absolute limits and I was gripped from start to finish.

Star rating: 5 stars

We have Essun, Syenite and Damaya as the points of view. Each is at a different stage of life. All have big struggles going on and challenging plots. Essun’s story is told in second person present which is so unique and done really well, I felt like someone was telling me a story.

What really captured me was the world-building. The world is different to Earth, but the same. Earth is wrecked by earthquakes, tsunamis and huge volcanic eruptions. This wild seismic activity leads to seasons, apocalyptic events that happen every 100 years or so. The orogenes, which our characters are, are linked to the seismic activity, can stop it and use it to cause their own devastation. Because of this, they are hated members of society, often killed.

Damaya is a child, an orogene who has been taken to the Fulcrum. This is where she will learn how to use her power to be useful to society – that’s if she can learn to control it. Syenite is older, a Four Ringer at the Fulcrum who is looking to advance. She’s sent on a mission out to the coast with the only Ten Ringer to mentor her. Essun is the oldest, living in a small village called a Comm with her kids and husband. But in this world, all is not what it seems.

I definitely suggest giving this book 50-100 pages to get going because it takes a while to understand the world it is based in. There are so many twists and turns throughout that it is worth the wait and scene setting. The story is really dark in places – this is for sure an adult book that I wouldn’t recommend to teens.

With it’s amazing character diversity and crazy twists, The Fifth Season is not one to miss out on reading. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next after the cliffhanger at the end!

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WWW Wednesday (30th December 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

It’s the last WWW of 2020! Wow!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin again. Looking forward to finishing the rest of the trilogy this time. This is a really cool book that blends sci-fi and fantasy!

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Midnight Library!! It’s such a wonderful book I highly recommend it. Definitely one of my faves of all time. You can see more in my review.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m getting Exciting Times today so I’ll probably read that next. It’s described as being like Normal People so I’m really excited to see what it’s all about. Exciting times. Ha.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

Let me know what you’ve been reading this week! How are you all doing? I can’t believe 2020 is almost over, March feels like yesterday.

Book Review: The Midnight Library

I definitely made my best books of 2020 post too early – this is now one of my favourite books of all time. It has the kind of message that I need to read every year so I think this one will be on the read yearly list from now on. Anyway, I cried, I laughed, I cried some more. Interesting concept, perfect message.

Star rating: 5 stars

I’d definitely read the trigger warnings before picking this book up – it starts with the protagonist, Nora Seed, attempting suicide. She ends up in The Midnight Library – the in between. There she can choose any regret she’s ever had and undo it to see what her life would be like.

This review is hard. Nora explores these parallel worlds where she made different choices – in one she’s an Olympic Swimmer, in another a famous rock star, in another a scientist on Svalbard. Some are less dramatically different from her root life. But even with her successes, she never really feels whole. I can find similar regrets in my own life, some big, some small. In some ways it was overwhelming thinking about all the small moments that could have changed my life in some way.

Through the alternative lives, Nora discovers what she is doing to make a difference to people in her root life. There’s some really beautiful moments, I cried a lot. To quote a friend, Matt Haig really did say live. I definitely have a different perspective on life now, and on my own choices. I’ll definitely read this book in any existential crisis from now on.

Have you read The Midnight Library? What did you think?

Most Anticipated Books: 2021

Hello everyone! I already wrapped up my favourite releases of 2020, so here’s to the ones I am looking forward to most in 2021!

1) The Galaxy, and The Ground Within by Becky Chambers. OK, I’m cheating. I already read this book (thanks NetGalley). But you all need some Becky Chambers in your life for some quietly profound science-fiction. This is one of my all-time faves – check out my review.

2) Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. I absolutely cannot wait to see how this duology ends and I’m definitely re-reading Six of Crows through to King of Scars before this comes out. And then we get the Shadow and Bone TV show in April too, what a year.

3) A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas. OK, I just finished an A Court of Thorns and Roses re-read. I’m really looking forward to seeing if Sarah can rescue Nesta’s character for me because I am not a fan right now.

4) The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik. Loved A Deadly Education more and more as the story progressed, and the ending was so good. I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this deadly magic school.

5) Vulture by Bex Hogan. Ah, this series. I got the first one as a bonus in a Fairyloot box and it’s actually really good. Enjoyed the first one and the sequel, so excited to see where it all ends up. Also the covers are super gorgeous.

6) Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert. Loved Chloe and Dani’s stories, can’t wait to see the youngest Brown sister Eve in action! This is probably the romance I’m looking forward to the most next year – not much longer to wait.

7) Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee. This one should be at the very top of the list! I can’t wait to get my hands on this – I’ll probably read Jade City and Jade War again before it comes out because these are some of my favourite characters of all time. This is definitely my favourite urban fantasy series and I can’t wait to see how Fonda Lee will break my heart.

8) Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. I found out about this book ages ago and have been anticipating it ever since! The protagonist has a PhD in Astronomy! I’m so excited for this women in STEM power. Also the cover is amazing.

9) Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore. I didn’t think we’d get a new book in the Graceling realm but here we are! This is one of my favourite series, but Bitterblue was a small let down so I hope this makes up for it.

10) Sweethand by N.G. Peltier. I mean the cover definitely drew me to this one, it’s gorgeous and look at all that cute detail. But the story sounds super cute too! Hopefully it’s a good romance.

So there are plenty of more books I’m looking forward to, some of which don’t have covers yet (House of Earth and Blood). I also don’t know if we’ll see Ninth House 2 in 2021 but that would be one of the first on this list if it is.

What are you looking forward to reading in 2021? Let me know in the comments so I can add some to the list.

The Bookish Blog Tag

So I guess it’s about time I did a book tag again. I got tagged in this one by Riddhi at Whispering Stories

Rules:

  1. Make sure you thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Answer all of the following questions.
  3. Include the blog tag graphic and these rules on your post.
  4. Nominate 3 or more bloggers at the bottom of your post, including their name and their blog’s link.

What are 1-3 of your favourite books of all time?

Difficult – but for now we will go

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  3. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

What are 1-3 of your favourite authors of all time?

  1. Taylor Jenkins Reid
  2. Leigh Bardugo
  3. Becky Chambers

Who is your favourite female character from a book?

Ooooh difficult to just pick one. I’d go with Fire in Fire by Kristin Cashore

Who is your favourite male character from a book?

Henry Strauss in The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

What’s your favourite fictional world?

Oh…I’m not sure! I’d say the world in The Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers is pretty awesome to be honest.

What book has your favourite book cover?

What’s your favourite book-to-movie adaptation?

I have absolutely no idea. All adaptations have leaked from my brain right now. I guess I quite liked the TV series of Normal People. And Little Fires Everywhere was pretty good.

If you could make any book into a movie, which would it be? 

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn is made to be a movie or tv series and I need it to be a thing right now.

What was your favourite childhood book?

I loved Mates, Dates and Inflatable Bras by Cathy Hopkins…no idea why.

Fantasy or Sci-fi (or neither)?

Fantasy all the way, but The Wayfarers series is one of my favourites of all time an really brings that emotional connection to sci-fi for me.

That’s it!
I tag:

Alison @ Antari Reads

Bertie @ Luminosity Library

Tiffany @ String of Pages

The Reading Addict

Anyone else who wants to complete this tag!

WWW Wednesday (23rd December 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

It’s been a while since I checked in with a WWW! How are we doing?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Written in the Stars for my book club. I’ve read the first third, it’s been OK so far. I don’t love the characters so far but the main couple did an escape room as a double date and it was adorable. Also the cover is super cute.

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished A Court of Mist and Fury for the second time. I forgot how much I enjoyed how easy it is to read Sarah J Maas books, and this is definitely my favourite in the trilogy. Rhys is so soft and cute, I love the romance in this one. I’ll definitely be reading the next book again soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m not really sure what’s next for me. I still didn’t get around to reading the eARC of We Hunt the Flame (I tried but the formatting is super off – words have no spaces between them and it’s really annoying). Maybe I’ll just buy the book because the second one has no issues with formatting.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

Let me know what you’ve been reading this week! How are you all doing?

Book Review: The Ever Cruel Kingdom

Rin Chupeco is fantastic. Like, this second book of The Never Tilting World duology is wonderful – the heartbreak, the characters, the fact there’s not one complex mother-daughter relationship but two. I always worry that endings will not be satisfying especially after a great first book but this one knocks it out of the park and more.

This review will contain spoilers for The Never Tilting World so I’d advise you go away now and pick up the first book!

Star rating: 5 stars

So, at the end of book one Odessa and Haidee finally learn of each other’s existence – and meet for the first time, enabling the world to turn again. But all is not quite right with the world, as the demons of the cruel kingdom keep escaping.

The character development continues as Odessa learns to deal with what the galla took away from her in exchange for her gifts, as Haidee returns to the deserts around the Sun City, this time bringing her sister. Lan is still recovering from the horrors that happened to her before the first book. Arjun has brought Haidee home with him, and has to deal with the fallout when darkness returns to the desert for the first time since The Breaking.

Another set of twins unite, Asteria and Latona also learn that the other twin lived. The relationship between Asteria, Latona, Haidee and Odessa is explored in much more detail as the mothers become and even larger part of the story.

Romance is still present between our leading couples and I really appreciated the lack of drama that came with it. Sexuality is treated so well in this book – there’s even an asexual character and nobody questions how she feels (though it is only mentioned briefly).

I can’t say much, but what I can say is that the ending is fantastic and carries with it all of that Rin Chupeco bitter-sweetness. It is both heart-breaking and satisfying, and in my opinion is a perfect conclusion to a story that really did pull at my heartstrings.

Overall, a more than solid final book – Rin Chupeco does it again!

Top Ten Tuesday (Books I Hope Santa Brings)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This is my first Top 10 Tuesday post, and this week the theme is: Books I Hope Santa Brings

So I’m going to cheat a bit on this one because I already know some of the books I got for Christmas through Secret Santa, my friends and from my Mum.

1) Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez. This is one of the gifts I got from my book club Secret Santa! I love it so much. I only had an eARC copy and I’m so glad I get the hardcover now.

2) Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. Same as above – and my friend sent me an American paperback which will be so nice and floppy to read!

3) Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle. OK so this has been on my wish list for like a year – it contains loads of adorable comics. My friend Linaria picked this out for me and I read it with my boyfriend immediately!

4) The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang. I have this series on Kindle but recently got The Poppy War paperback when I did my re-read. So I asked my Mum to get my The Dragon Republic, and maybe next year I can get a paperback of The Burning God.

5) Now to the books on my wish list that I won’t get for Christmas! The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book so I will probably pick it up in 2021.

6) Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. This is a book I’ve read on kindle but would love a physical copy of because I really enjoyed it. Again, one for 2021.

7) Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson. Another book I’d love to read soon but don’t own yet! Sounds really good and one of my friends really likes Tiffany’s other books.

8) Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I had a copy of this but I gave it to my Nan and I’m not sure if I’ll get it back haha…it was so good I just have to own it again.

9) The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune. This is one of my friend’s favourite books of 2020 so I have to get my hands on it at some point. It doesn’t have a UK publisher yet so can be quite expensive at the moment.

10) Ah, the last one. Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall. I don’t know a lot about this book but Paragraphs and Pages gave it five stars and I definitely trust their opinion a lot.

There we go, 10 books I have received for Christmas or would like. I’ll probably get them all in 2021 anyway hahaha.

Hope you all get some great books for Christmas this year!

Book Review: The Never Tilting World

Hello everyone! Today I finished my re-read of The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco. After really loving The Bone Witch trilogy I was so excited to see what Rin would do next and this really does not disappoint! It’s described as Mad Max and Frozen combined which is such a weirdly fitting description.

Star rating: 5 stars

So, what’s the book about? It has four points of view – they are Lan, Arjun, Odessa and Haidee.

Odessa and Haidee are twins on opposite sides of the world – Odessa living in the rainy darkness and Haidee in the scorching dry of the desert. Neither know of each other’s existence as something happened with their mothers in the past to cause The Breaking of the world.

Lan is a Catseye who is charged with protecting Odessa. She used to be a ranger, and was the only one who returned from her previous expedition meaning she is suffering with a lot of survivor’s guilt. Arjun lives in the desert, getting by on scraps with the other orphans that live with him. But one day he meets the young Goddess Haidee and his life changes forever.

The book follows Lan and Odessa on their journey to The Abyss, with a mirroring journey taking place for Haidee and Arjun. I loved each and every character and their point of view, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be Haidee. Rin really masters the balance between character development and action in this book as it blends elemental fantasy and science-fiction to build a futuristic world. I loved that the world-building mixed technology with magic.

Overall, another hit from Rin and I’m going straight into the sequel next. Have you read any Rin Chupeco before? What did you think? I highly recommend her books.

Favourite 2020 Releases

Hey all! It’s time for my first end of year post – favourite 2020 book releases. For this post I’ll be sharing my favourite books that came out in 2020 – I’ll probably forget loads because I always do.

1) I can’t start with anything else than The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. This one broke my heart through Henry Strauss. Captured that complete confusion about deciding what you want to do with your life in your twenties perfectly and it hit very, very close to home. You can read my review here.

2) My favourite YA release this year has to be Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez. This is a cool book following a teen with a passion for football (soccer) in Argentina. My favourite part of this book was how mature the protagonist Camila is. She is such a good role model. One of my friends got me a hardback for Christmas and I’m so happy because I can read it in physical copy now. You can check out my review of the eARC here.

3) Let’s talk about a final book in a series! The Burning God by R.F. Kuang, the end of The Poppy War trilogy. Again, I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book so I got to read it right after I finished The Dragon Republic. This is the series for you if you want a series that’s loosely historical, has really vivid depictions of war without sacrificing the character development and will break your heart many, many times. You can read my review here.

4) One of my favourite romances this year was Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. This book had a lot of my favourite tropes (ice queen that’s really a softie, slow burn, office romance), and I love that it has women that support each other. Emma and Jo are so cute, I can’t wait to read this one again now I have a physical copy (thanks friend!!!) You can read my review here.

5) A contemporary fiction that I loved this year is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Read (it came out in early January in the UK). This one definitely gave me Little Fires Everywhere vibes – the writing is so good and the characters are the opposite of one dimensional as it delves into white saviours. I can’t wait to read this again and write a review for my blog.

6) OK, I can’t help it, I’ve got to put in another romance. I absolutely loved The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon, it was everything. Samiah is one of my favourite characters – she’s a Black woman in STEM and I loved how this book highlighted her challenges at work. It also has a really awesome female friendship which is super cute. Really loved the romance between Samiah and Daniel too.

7) My favourite sci-fi release of 2020 is Honor Lost by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre. This is the final book in the Honor Among Thieves trilogy which my friends finally convinced me to read this year. This book honestly sounds completely wild but it’s amazing and cute and I want to re-read just thinking of it. Cute space whale spaceships, what a concept, and the finale definitely doesn’t disappoint.

8) Another trilogy conclusion you say? There were a lot of good finales this year, that’s for sure. This time it’s The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty. The Daevabad trilogy is fantastic and I’m so glad I read all of the books this year. The Empire of Gold is a thrilling final book from start to finish and is a fast read despite it being many, many pages long. It has characters I grew so attached to and really rich world-building, you have to pick up this series.

OK, that’s my top 8 book releases of 2020! There’s still some that I want to finish before the end of the year, like The Ever-Cruel Kingdom by Rin Chupeco. Like I said, I probably forgot some, but that’s fine.

Hope you’re all doing well, I am on holiday from work now until 4th January so hopefully I can write some more blog posts. Also I didn’t get that job I applied for, it’s been a bit of a mess to be honest so I’m looking forward to moving past it all and throwing my frustration into 2021.